Assorted Short Definitions

[ ] (square brackets)
A symbol found in the majority of critical editions, including e.g. Westcott & Hort and the UBS edition. The purpose of brackets is to indicate a high degree of uncertainty whether the text found within the brackets is original. For example, the UBS edition, in Mark 1:1, has the final words [υιου θεου] in brackets because they are omitted by, among others, ℵ* Θ 28.
The one problem with the bracket notation is that it can only be used for add/omit readings. Where two readings are equally good, but one substitutes for the other, there is no way to indicate the degree of uncertainty expressed by the brackets. This has caused some editors (e.g. Bover) to avoid the use of brackets; these editors simply print the text they think best.
The third course, and probably the best in terms of treating all variants equally, is to do as Westcott and Hort did and have noteworthy marginal readings. But this policy has not been adopted by modern editors.
German for "copy, duplicate," and used to refer to manuscripts that are copies of other manuscripts. Normally symbolized by the superscript abbreviation abs. Thus 205abs is a copy of 205, and Dabs1 (Tischendorf's E) and Dabs2 are copies of D/06. Only about a dozen manuscripts are known to be copies of other manuscripts, though more might be recognized if all manuscripts could be fully examined (it is unlikely that there are any other papyrus or uncial manuscripts which are copies of other manuscripts, but few minuscules have been examined well enough to test the matter, and the number of lectionaries so examined is even smaller.)
A name for a border or boundary illustration (e.g. ❦ or ❁), often the flowering vines surrounding a text. Despite the name, it generally will not resemble an acanthus plant. The name seems to be more commonly used in descriptions of medieval Latin manuscripts (often secular) than Biblical.
An element of the text of a particular manuscript which is not of textual significance. So, for instance, the difference between Δαβιδ and Δαυιδ is not of great importance; it may be the personal preference of the scribe, and in any case it was likely abbreviated at some point in the manuscript's history. So accidentals are generally not regarded as having genetic significance. Items regarded as accidentals in non-biblical textual criticism include spelling, punctuation, and capitalization; in the Greek NT, we could add accents and (probably) breathings. Variants which are not accidentals are called "substantives."
In the usage of Nelson Goodman, a document whose original can be perfectly reproduced, as opposed to a work such as a painting which cannot be exactly recreated. (Note that, just because an allograph can be perfectly reproduced does not mean that it has been perfectly reproduced. In a sense, what an allograph is an object which we can check to see if it matches another copy.) For more discussion, see Archetypes and Autographs.
More often known as metathesis. It refers to copying letters out of order, e.g. ATE for EAT or TAR for RAT.
Atlantic Bible
So called not because it was written near the Atlantic but because of their large size -- a bible for the Greek giant Atlas. The term refers to extremely large Bibles produced in northern Italy starting in the eleventh century, with the format later copied elsewhere. The Codex Gigas (gig of the Old Latin) is regarded as an Atlantic Bible, although the contents are not entirely Biblical. It is said to have required two men to carry!
For another example of an Atlantic Bible, see the so-called Great Bible of Richard II, which was in fact probably owned by Richard II's successor Henry IV (reigned 1399-1413). This book, British Library MS. Royal 1 E IX, is .63x.43 meters (25x17 inches) and has 250 folios. The text is a Vulgate of the complete Bible plus the Gospel of Nicodemus, with colored decorations on most pages and some beautiful illustrations; the illuminations are thought to be by Herman Scheerre. The British Library has placed digital images on the web, to be found at Another Atlantic Bible, also in the British Library, is Egerton 617+Egerton 618 (a two volume Bible), which is .44x.29 meters (17x11.5 inches) -- clearly not as big as the examples above, but still not something you hold in your hand!
For something so large and inconvenient, Atlantic Bibles seem to have been fairly common, at least based on the fact that the UCLA library alone has four different fragments it lists as Atlantic Bibles: University Research Library MSS. 1/XI/Ita/3, 1/XI/Ita/5, 1/XI/Ita/12, 2/XII/Ita/13. (All are Vulgates, not Greek Bibles.)
Not all large, heavy volumes were Biblical. The Vernon Manuscript of Middle English romances and poetry (most of it religious, but not Biblical) currently weighs about 22 kg/49 lbs; it has lost quite a few leaves, and very likely been trimmed, so it originally must have weighed at least 27 kg/60 lbs. It gives us some indication of the format of these works: it is about 39 cm. by 54 cm., written mostly in three columns per page but with some parts in two, making for very wide columns; there are about 80 lines per page. The closely related Simeon Manuscript, which seems to have come from the same school and to have contained many of the same works, had even larger page dimensions, 39 by 59 cm., although it has lost so many leaves that we cannot really say how heavy it originally was. Frankly, Atlantic volumes were not just a pain to carry, they were a pain to read. But they stored a lot of information in a relatively small space.
A secular book of similar size might be known as a coucher book.
The conforming of language to the standards of Attic Greek. The New Testament is written in koine Greek (of varying quality, with Mark and the Apocalypse the worst, and Luke/Acts and Hebrews most literary). As time passed and spoken Greek evolved from Koine to Byzantine forms, there was a tendency to apply the rules of pre-Koine Greek, especially as used in Athens. The obvious temptation was to apply this standard of "proper" Greek to the New Testament (and also to the Septuagint).
Authoritative Reading
A term used by Ronald B. McKerrow and W. W. Greg for a reading "which may be presumed to derive by direct descent from the manuscript of the author." In other words, a reading not created by an editor.
A banderole is a feature of an illuminated manuscript allowing for comments beside the text. It is much like the "speech balloons"" in a modern comic strip. The illustration at right shows an example. This is a portion of a page of "the Rheims Missal," originally written shortly before 1300 and now in Saint Petersburg. The illustration is of church ritual, and in the margin we see the New Testament prophet Simon (Symo⋅) and the Old Testament prophet Micah (micheas). Micah is holding a banderole.
An illustration at the bottom of a page (hence the name). The illustration may not be related to the contents of the page. The term is rarely used in New Testament studies, but is fairly common in dealing with medieval manuscripts.
Bat Book
A modern term used by Peter Gumbert to describe books whose leaves were folded after the book was bound so as to take up less height and width (although obviously more depth) -- so-called because it unfolded its wings like a bat. The writing covered the whole page; the folds did not represent separate writing areas. When the book was read, the pages were unfolded so that the whole page could be used. The purpose presumably was to make a book small enough to fit in a small pocket or space while still allowing for large pages. We see a few small instances of this today in books with foldout maps. A few dozen bat books were cataloged by Gumbert; although I know of no Bibles in this format, it was sometimes used for religious works.
Best Text Editing
Best Text Editing means editing using one base manuscript and deviating from it only in extraordinary circumstances. Thus this is a strong form of editing from a copy text. This is by contrast to what George Kane calls Direct Editing (which see), which is fairly close to what New Testament critics call reasoned eclecticism (although I'd consider Kane's version much more methodologically rigorous).
Although we usually use the word "bibliography" for a list of books cited, in textual criticism it has a different use -- for the "study of books." In recent years, the "new bibliography" has resulted in a great deal of insight into printed books such as the works of Shakespeare. The amount of detail bibliographic work requires is amazing. Bibliographers study the paper used in printing (something that New Testament critics might want to imitate more closely), the way the quires are organized and bound (ditto), the amount of text on each page (which can tell us something about the order the pages were typeset and perhaps about who typeset them; see casting off copy), the differences between individual printed copies (since books were often corrected in mid-run but the bad pages still used), the way the distinct impressions of pages were collated (e.g. if copy A has the first version of page 34, and copy B has the second version, does that mean that A has an "older" text? What if, on page 36, it's B that has the older copy?), the way they were bound, and much more. If author's manuscripts exist, the paper of those may be examined (e.g., although the author's draft of Frankenstein is now formed into loose sheets, examination of the paper and signs of binding marks show that these pages originally formed two notebooks). This sort of work sometimes influences textual decisions in the books studied, and it consistently reveals more about the printing history. Not all of the tools of bibliography are useful in New Testament criticism, since many apply only to printed editions (and, often, in printed editions of which we have multiple copies), but it is a field that New Testament critics perhaps should be more aware of.
In New Testament criticism, bibliography overlaps paleography and codicology. To give an obvious example, it can tell us the direction of manuscript transmission. If we are convinced, e.g., that 1505 and 2495 are copies of each other (they aren't, but they're close; it is possible that one is a copy at several removes of the other), but we don't know which is the original and which the copy based on their texts, then bibliography can come to our aid. Since 1505 is from the twelfth or thirteenth century, and 2495 from the fourteenth or fifteenth, 1505 must be the ancestor and 2495 the descendant.
Bifolium, Bifolia
Technical term for a single sheet folded in half (i.e. in folio form). Thus a bifolium contains two leaves or four pages. A group of bifolia are usually bound together to form a quire.
Book Hand
Term used in contrast to Documentary Hand. A term for a writing style considered suitable for, and attractive when used in, a book. Book hands were often more elaborate than documentary hands, and often took more time and effort to write -- e.g. book hands usually did not join letters, unlike documentary hands, which were often cursive. In the early New Testament period, book hands were more likely to be uncial or majuscule, but by the second millenium, this had changed -- in Latin writings in particular, both upper and lower case were used in book hands; the key was simply the lack of joined letters and, perhaps, the use of more strokes -- e.g. 𝖙𝖍𝖎𝖘 𝖜𝖔𝖚𝖑𝖉 𝖇𝖊 𝖆 𝖇𝖔𝖔𝖐 𝖍𝖆𝖓𝖉; 𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝓌ℴ𝓊𝓁𝒹 𝒷ℯ 𝒶 𝒹ℴ𝒸𝓊𝓂ℯ𝓃𝓉𝒶𝓇𝓎 𝒽𝒶𝓃𝒹. It is not unusual to find book hands in the body of a text, with marginalia in a documentary hand, especially if the marginalia were added casually instead of being part of a standard collection of glosses.
A name for a particular sort of abbreviation in which a single symbol is used for more than one letter. An obvious example would be & for Latin et; Greek had ϗ for και; in Old English, before the advent of Arabic numerals, 7 was often used for and.
Used to describe the decorations (in particular, animals) drawn as part of decorative initials extending above or below the margin of a page.
Part of a manuscript or book marked for deletion, or (in particular), the replacement for that page. A famous cancel occurs in the Old Latin codex Vercellensis (a/Beuron 3) of the Old Latin: the original ending of Mark has been cut out and replaced by a leaf with a partial Vulgate text of the verses. This added leaf, almost certainly inserted to replace a text that lacked Mark 16:9-20, is a cancel.
In printed books, we often find canceled leaves in only some copies of an edition. It appears that, in many instances, a mistake was found after some copies were printed, and the already-printed sheets were used although the page was corrected and later copies had the corrected version. If a mistake was bad enough, but the printing was advanced, we may see pages already bound in quires cut out, and inserts added.
Carpet Page
A characteristic feature of illuminated Celtic manuscripts. A carpet page is a page with no text, just an elaborate pattern like a carpet. Some carpet pages are built around a cross motif, but most of the more elaborate ones are not. The Book of Durrow (7th century) has a carpet page of spirals within wheels. The Lindisfarne gospels has a carpet page which actually looks like a carpet: A rectangular outline (although with ornaments at the cornets and images of birds at the center of each side), a border, and a circle-within-a-square motif in the center.
Cast Off/Casting Off Copy
A term from the era of printing rather than the manuscript age, but it has significance for textual criticism of relatively modern works, and perhaps also for early editions of fathers and the like. It refers to a method of typesetting a book in quires, in which the pages were set out of order.
Consider, for instance, a standard four-sheet quire, which has pages 1-16. If you examine the page numbers, pages 1 and 16 are on the same side of the same sheet. On the other side of that sheet are pages 2 and 15. The next sheet has pages 3 and 14 on one side, 4 and 13 on the other. The third sheet has pages 5+12 and 6+11; the innermost sheet is 7+10 and 8+9.
(If you want to know which pages go on the same side of the same sheet, there is a simple rule: take the number of pages in the quire and add one; call this N. For example, if you have a 16-page quire (four sheets), then N=17. If you have a 20-page quire (five sheets), then N=21. And so forth. For any sheet x in the quire, it will be pairec with page N-x. So if you have a 16-page quire, and you want to know which page goes on the same sheet as page 4, then N=17, x=4, and the page that goes with page 4 is 17-4=page 13. If you want the page that goes with page 6, that's 17-6=page 11.)
Now imagine that you want to set this 16-page quire from front to back (the technical term for this is seriatim typesetting). First you set page 1, then page 2, and so on. When do you get to start actually printing? Depending on whether you are doing single-sided printing or double-sided, you won't get to start until you've set at least the first nine pages, if you print single-sided, or when you're through page 10 if you're printing double-sided. That's because it's not until you've finished page 9 that you've completed an entire side of a sheet (in this case, 8+9), and not until you've completed page 10 have you completed both sides of a single sheet (8+9 and 7+10).
This has two problems -- or did, in the days of hand typesetting. First, you can't start printing until the compositor is more than half done, so your printers may be sitting around doing nothing. Second, ten pages of type (plus enough extra type to do pages 11-16) is a lot of type, and type, which required lead and antimony and tin (the last in particular being expensive) wasn't cheap. Many printers didn't have enough type to allow them to print an entire quire all at once.
The solution was to "cast off copy." That is, instead of setting the pages in the order 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6..., to set whole sheets at a time -- so to set pages 1+16, which go on the same sheet, and then 2+15, the reverse of that sheet -- and then typeset 3+14 and 4+13, and print them, and while that's going on, disassemble the type used for pages 1+16 and 2+15 and prepare it for the next job. And so on.
The obvious advantage of cast off copy was that it meant that the printer needed far less type; it was often more efficient for the pressmen as well (although a really good shop manager could see to it that they were kept busy -- the real problem was the lack of type). The disadvantage is probably obvious: Someone had to estimate exactly how much material would go on each page, and assign it to the compositor, and, somehow, the compositor had to make it all fit. If the estimate was off, the compositor either had to find ways to fit extra copy on his page (tricky) or make a shortage of copy fill the sheet without looking too spread out.
Note that this is the same problem that we see scribes have in estimating the size of a single-quire codex.
We see signs of both these problems in the First Folio of Shakespeare, e.g. -- if there is too much copy to fit on a page, the compositor may shorten speech prefixes (letting him get more type on a line), or combine lines of verse on a single line; if there is too little copy, he may spread the words out and break lines that do not need to be broken. In a few cases, it may even be that the compositor omitted a few lines, or made up new ones (it has been suspected that this happened in King Lear, where we have two very different versions of the text, though this is not the most widely-accepted explanation). For the sort of textual scholar who is trying to reconstruct Shakespeare's autograph right down to the punctuation and line breaks, this problem obviously has serious implications!
To minimize the effects of such mis-estimation as far as possible, it appears to have been the practice in at least some cases to start with the middle sheets of the quire -- so, e.g., in the case above, of a 16-page quire, to first typeset pages 8+9, then 7+10, then 6+11, and so forth. This had the advantage that one never had to guess the length of the full sixteen pages, just the first eight, and it also meant that pages 8-16 (more than half the quire) would be properly typeset and all the text on those pages at least would fit the available space properly. This also meant that, once the first page of the quire was set, it would be easy to give different parts of the master manuscript to two different typesetters (since the pages would not overlap), allowing the type to be set more quickly. The down side is that it means that the first page of the quire -- the one a potential customer would see first! -- was the last one typeset, and any mistakes in determining how much copy to set on each page would be likeliest to show up on the first page. An example where this may have taken place is the National Library of Scotland copy of the "Gest of Robyn Hode;" this work (badly typeset by a compositor who very likely was not fluent in English) is a metrical romance, in verse, and most of it is set as poetry, but the first page is set in continuous type as if it were prose -- clearly because there was more copy than would fit on the page.
Another obvious case is the Shakespearean First Folio edition of Much Ado About Nothing. Pages 120-121, the last two pages of the play, are on the last page of quire IL and the first page of quire L. Page 120, the last page of a quire, appear to be properly set; much of it is set as prose, but there is a song set in verse, and a number of blank lines. Page 121, the first page of a quire, is incredibly compressed; there are no blank lines at all, and stage directions are almost all on the same line as text; in some cases, the compositor seems to have left out space after punctuation. Even at a distance, you can tell the difference between the pages; page 121 is a much darker page.
There are of course many variations on casting off copy. In the Shakespearean First Folio, for instance, the quires were of three sheets rather than four, reducing the potential amount of error per sheet (fortunately, since the folio pages were large and contained a lot of type -- a four-sheet quire might have been too long to be managed); this was feasible only because the Folio was printed on paper, not vellum, so there was no issue of assuring that hair and flesh sides faced each other.
An important concept in bookbinding, which can matter when trying to reassemble a damaged manuscript. Codices were, of course, copied off in quires, and it was the task of the binder to put the quires in order. The catchword was intended to help with this process. When a scribe finished copying a quire, he would write, at the bottom of the last page of the quire, the first word of the text on the next quire. So if, for instance, someone were copying "Hamlet" (for whatever reason), and the great soliloquy were at the bottom of the page, so that "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to" were the last words on one quire, and "suffer" the first word of the next, the bottom of the last page would look something like this (catchwords were often written vertically in the far margin:
Enter Hamlet
To be, or not to be -- that is the
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to
The use of catchwords spread throughout Europe during the twelfth century; prior to that, quires were usually numbered or assigned a letter.
In popular usage, refers to any small volume, normally sold unbound, containing just a few dozen pages, although it must have more than one page -- a booklet rather than a book. But it is a technical term in publishing -- for a 12mo/duodecimo book -- one with 24 pages. This involves a complicated format of four folds (which would normally produce a 32-page book). The tables below show the fold layout and the numbers of the resulting pages (note: there are some geometric complications here -- properly, the inner side should be mirror imaged horizontally -- but I'm trying to make this as easy as possible!)

Outer Side

fold 2  fold 3
Fold 4--4----5----12--Fold 4
Fold 1--21----20----13--Fold 1
Fold 4--24----17----16--Fold 4
fold 2  fold 3

Inner Side

fold 2  fold 3
Fold 4--3----6----11--Fold 4
Fold 1--22----19----14--Fold 1
Fold 4--23----18----15--Fold 4
fold 2  fold 3

So if we list which pages go on the front and back of each page, we get

Seen from Outer Side

fold 2  fold 3
Fold 4--4--
Fold 4
Fold 1--21--
Fold 1
Fold 4--24--
Fold 4
fold 2  fold 3

Note that there are two significant complications with this format. One is that it's hard to set up. Setting folio pages is easy -- all the pages are set up and placed in the forme right-side up, and it's easy to know which pages go together (if m is the number of pages in a quire, then page n pairs with page 4m-n+1). An octavo is harder (some pages are upside-down) but still straightforward. Nothing is simple in a duodecimo quire! -- instances of getting the pages badly disordered are known. And even if one sets the pages in the forme properly, problems still arise with the folding -- to fold a page in half is easy. But to fold in thirds (as in fold 2 above, and arguably fold 3) is very difficult and takes special care. Chapbooks were useful in that they allowed the creation of inexpensive booklets, but they were none too easy to set in type.
The process of writing in gold -- mixing powdered gold with some sort of binder and using it as an ink.
Classes of Errors
Errors are everywhere. Humans are fallible; that's just the way it is. But errors fall into different classes or types. The most obvious classes are "deliberate" versus "accidental" -- that is, where a scribe thinks there is something wrong with his text and consciously tries to correct it, versus where a scribe just goofs.
But another set of classifications that doesn't get as much attention is classification based on the means of copying. A text may be copied in many different ways. It may be copied from one manuscript to another. It may be copied orally in either of two ways: the speaker may be working from memory or from a written text, and the hearer may be copying it down or memorizing it. Or a text may be typeset, or it may be typed on a typewriter. Each of these will produce different classes of error. By classes of error I mean the sort of error most likely to occur. As an example, there is a line in Shakespeare's King Lear (III.vii.63 in the Riverside edition; III.vii.65 in the Signet; III.vii.71 in the Yale; in the New Pelican, which prints two versions, it's III.vii.66 of the quarto text, III.vii.62 of the folio) where the quarto reads dearne (derne, a now-forgotten word meaning "hidden") while the folio reads sterne (stern). Both readings make sense. (All the editions I have accept "dearne;"; but Signet mis-glosses as "dread"; Yale prints "dern" and glosses as "dreary," so it has both the spelling and the meaning wrong; the New Pelican quarto version also spells it "dern" and mis-glosses as "dreadful.") I too think "dearne" much more likely to be original, but the point for our purposes is that neither error (that is, dearne being replaced with stearne or vice versa) is likely to happen in either oral tradition or manuscript copying -- no Elizabethan would change "stearne" to the rare word "dearne"; and while the typesetter might have been tempted to change "dearne," the word he would think of probably wouldn't have been "stearne." Where this error does make sense is in early typesetting -- in the earliest known English typesetting box, the ligature st was located in the type case right next to d. So a typesetter reaching for a d could easily pull an st, or vice versa. Thus the derne/sterne confusion is a very reasonable accidental error in typesetting, and completely unreasonable (at least as an accidental error) in any other form of transmission.
So when we see a particular error, it is worth considering how it came about.
• If the means of copying is Oral Transmission, we can expect to see errors of hearing, e.g. ημας and υμας being confused.
• If the means of copying is Manuscript-to-Manuscript copying -- widely believed to be the norm for New Testament manuscripts -- we are likely to see more errors based on easily confused letters, e.g. ΑΛΛΑ being read as ΑΜΑ or vice versa.
• If the method of copying involves manual typesetting, common mistakes involve letters next to each other in the type case. The example derne/sterne, described above, is typical.
It's worth noting that, in these instances, it matters whether the word is in upper or lower case. For instance, it is easy to interchange lower case "tap" and "top," because the letters a and o are next to each other in the case. But upper case A and O are not next to each other, so "TAP" and "TOP" are not accidental versions of each other (although the compositor might have misread an a as an o, or the reverse, in his manuscript source). In the case of "TAP," reasonable mistakes are MAP and SAP, since M and S respectively directly above and to the left of T (LAP and NAP are at diagonals to T, so those are also possibilities, although somewhat less likely). We might also see TIP (I is to the lower right of A); there are no likely errors for P.
• If one is copying on a typewriter, obviously the most likely errors are Errors Involving Adjacent Letters, so we might e.g. see "five" and "give" confused. This raises the interesting thought that such errors might even occur in the autographs of authors who typed their words.
This point may seem esoteric in the context of copying manuscripts, but this does not automatically follow, since we have reason to believe that there were some manuscripts copied from dictation. So any given manuscript may contain errors based both on easily confused letters and on errors of hearing. If we see a manuscript which contains several errors of hearing (say, ημας for υμας and τε for δε), and we come to a situation where we are not sure of the source of an error, we should be more willing to attribute the harder-to-explain errors to that cause; but if we come to an instance where we see a series of errors likely based on errors of sight (e.g. ΑΜΑ for ΑΛΛΑ and Κ̅ϲ̅ for Κ̅ϵ̅), we should be more willing to suspect other errors of sight.
Clear Text Edition
A term for a critical edition in which the text and apparatus are printed separately, generally without any indication in the text of where the reading is uncertain. The purpose of such an edition is to show the text as openly as possibly, without interference. For those interested primarily in the text, this is obviously helpful; for those who are interested in how the text is constructed, it is generally not helpful.
Plural codices. As used in NT circles, the characteristic format of Christian literature. The Christian church adopted this format almost universally in its early years, at a time when both Jews and pagan writers continued to use scrolls. (The earliest papyrus codices, in fact, seem to have been cut from scrolls, and not at the places where the leaves of the scroll were joined together; one can occasionally see the joins in the middle of a leaf of a papyrus codex.) Among known Christian manuscripts, all but four seem to havebeen written in codex form (the four exceptions, 𝔓12, 𝔓13, 𝔓18, and 𝔓22, are all written on reused scrolls; there is thus no known instance of a scroll being deliberately prepared for use in Christian literature).
The codex was in fact what moderns think of as a book -- a series of leaves folded and bound together, usually within covers. Codices could be made of parchment or papyrus (or, of course, paper, once it became available). Whichever writing material was used, a series of sheets would be gathered and folded over, meaning that each sheet yielded four pages. These gatherings of leaves are normally referred to as quires.
Many of the earliest codices consisted of only a single quire of many pages. Examples of single-quire codices include 𝔓5 (probably), 𝔓46, and 𝔓75. Single-quire codices, however, are inconvenient in many ways: They do not fold flat, they often break at the spine, and the outside edges of the page are not even. Also, it was often difficult to open them enough to read the text near the inner margin of the middle pages. Still more troublesome is the fact that the scribe had to estimate, before the copying process began, how many leaves would be needed. If the estimate was inaccurate, the codex would be left with blank pages at the end, or -- even worse -- a few extra pages which would have to be somehow attached to the back of the document. (Compare the problems involved in typesetting using cast off copy.) As a result, it became normal to assemble books by placing smaller quires back to back. This can be seen as early as 𝔓66, which uses quires of from four to eight sheets (16 to 32 pages). Quires of four sheets (16 pages) eventually became relatively standard, although there are many exceptions (B, for example, uses five-sheet quires).
It is sometimes stated that the Christians invented the codex. This is of course not true; the word itself is old (Latin caudex properly refers to a tree trunk, hence to anything made of wood, and hence came specifically to mean a set of waxed tablets hinged together. E. Maunde Thompson, An Introduction to Greek and Latin Palaeography, p. 51, notes that Ulpian in the third century makes reference to literary codices). Indeed, we have quite a few examples of pagan literature on codices in the early centuries of the Christian Era; David Diringer (The Book Before Printing, p. 162) surveyed known manuscripts from Oxyrhynchus (as of half a century ago), noting that of 151 pagan documents known to him from the third to sixth centuries, fully 39 were codices. And Jerome mentioned a number of pagan codices in his possession (Thompson, p. 53).
It has been suggested that, prior to the church's adoption of the form, the scroll was for literary works intended to be read while the codex was for reference works. This is supported by the fact that a large fraction of the earliest pagan codices are reference works (medical manuals, legal treatises, grammatical books). C. H. Roberts in fact suggested that the author of the Gospel of Mark was used to these sorts of reference manuals, and so wrote the original copy of his gospel in codex form -- and hence popularized the format.
But if the church did not invent the codex, it does seem to have been responsible for the popularity of the codex format (e.g. in Diringer's example, of 82 Christian documents, 67 were codices), and scrolls seem to have remained the preferred format for pagan literary works after codices were adopted for most other purposes. There is even an instance (in the Stockholm Codex Aureus) of an illustration in which Matthew the Evangelist is shown holding a scroll and an angel carrying a codex; this is thought to mean that Matthew is holding the Law of the Old Testament but is being handed a codex which will represent the New.
We should also note that a sort of proto-codex existed in the form of the orihon.
We observe that the codex has both advantages and disadvantages for literature, especially when dealing with papyrus codices. It requires less material (which may be why the Christians adopted it), and it's easier to find things in a codex. But it's rather harder to write (since one must write against the grain on a papyrus, or on the rough side of a piece of vellum), and one also has to estimate the length of the finished work more precisely. The latter disadvantages probably explain why the Christians were the first to use the codex extensively: They needed a lot of books, and didn't have much money; pagans didn't need so many books, so they felt the disadvantages of the codex more, and the advantages less.
Codices have another advantage, though it wasn't realized at the time: They survive abuse better. Being flat, there are no air pockets to collapse, and they protect their contents better. At Herculaneum, thousands of scrolls were discovered, rolled up and damaged by the conditions that buried them. Centuries of efforts to open and read them accomplished little except to ruin the documents involved. Had the documents been stored in codex form, their outer leaves would have been destroyed but the inner would likely have been in much more usable shape.
The sections of codices were usually numbered. But unlike modern books, it was not individual pages that were numbered, but whole quires. This suggests, to me at least, that the primary purpose was not to make it easier to find things in the volumes but rather to tell the binder the order of the quires. It was not until about the fourteenth century that actual page numbering became common, and even then, it was tied to quire numbering (e.g. the first page would not be "1" but "A.i" and the seventeenth, which would be the first of the second quire in a typical book, would not be "17" but "B.i").
Coherence-Based Genealogical Method
Commonly abbreviated "CBGM." A method developed by Gerd Mink to try to evaluate manuscript evidence and reconstruct the original text. The method is based on full collations of selected witnesses, and because it uses vast amounts of data, it requires computers and databases to perform its computations; it constructs relationships based on "coherence" -- which is an undefined term based on agreements over a large block of text based on comparison of many manuscripts.
Mink has described the method in several journal articles, as well as the article "Contamination, Coherence, and Coincidence in Textual Transmission: The Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM) as a Complement and Corrective to Existing Approaches," in Holmes & Wachtel, editors, The Textual History of the Greek New Testament. At present, however, the most convenient explanation is probably Tommy Wasserman and Peter J. Gurry, A New Approach to Textual Criticism: An Introduction to the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method, References for Biblical Study, Society of Biblical Literature (Atlanta)/Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (Stuttgart), 2017.
The method is being used to create the text of the new Editio Critica Maior, in a complex process involving the collation of many manuscripts, the assessment of their text, and then, ultimately, human examination of the results.
Mink's article in Holmes & Wachtel defines a number of useful terms on pp. 143-144 -- although, ironically, it does not define "coherence" in any way, and what is the point of the method if we don't know what "coherence" is? But let's take some of the terms and try to paraphrase or clarify.
* Connectivity is not used as, say, a mathematician would use it, to describe links in a network; rather, it is a term for genetic relatedness -- but it is not a statistical measure; rather, it derives from two completely unrelated sources. One is overall rate of agreements -- a particular reading in two manuscripts are connected if the manuscripts are close kin. The other is the old classical rule of agreement in error. Because these two measures are so different, it will be seen that connectivity is a descriptive term, not a mathematical one.
* Genealogical coherence is Mink's fancy new idea. Unfortunately, since he hasn't defined "coherence," the title doesn't mean anything. But the goal is to define how manuscripts relate based on including the direction of local stemma. In essence, what high genealogical coherence means, or is supposed to mean, is that there is a high degree of relatedness that doesn't just come about from overall agreements. These are more significant agreements. Manuscripts with relatively weak pre-genealogical coherence may still have an important relationship revealed by their genealogical coherence. It must once again be stressed, however, that Mink has not demonstrated that this means anything. It's just a number.
Genealogical coherence is actually determined by looking at places where two manuscripts disagree and determining which reading is most likely to have given rise to the other. To take a specific example, if 205 and 205abs agree (in whatever section of text we're reading and whatever variants we're using) in 95% of cases (that is, have 95% pre-genealogical coherence), and in every case where 205abs differs from 205, it is an obvious haplography, then 205 give clear signs of being an ancestor, or close to an ancestor, of 205abs. Thus the reading "flows" from 205 to 205abs. If there arises a case where most of the "flows" from one manuscript to another are in one direction, then the suggestion (unproved, of course) is that where there is an exception, it represents a contamination in the "downstream" manuscript. This, then, is how the CBGM accounts for mixture -- as long as there isn't too much of it.
It will be noted that flow direction is a distinctly different operation from Lachmann's agreement in error -- it is based on disagreements, but directional disagreements. If all disagreements were demonstrably directional, the power of the tool would be clear -- but it ultimately suffers from the same problem as Lachmann's agreement in error: in Lachmann, you had to know which readings were errors. For Mink, you have to know which direction a variant "flows."
* Global Stemma is the term Mink uses for what just about everyone else simply calls a stemma, i.e. a family tree of manuscripts.
* Initial Text is the term Mink and others now use for the archetype (as opposed to the autograph). See Archetypes and Autographs.
* Optimal substemma is complicated.... Any group of two or more witnesses have multiple possible historical/textual relationships (A is descended from B, B is descended from A, both are descended from a common ancestor, etc.). So all these relationships are possible stemma/substemma. The trick is to figure out which one is right. Mink's method for calculating this is to choose the stemma in which "the number of ancestors is reduced to the minimum." In other words, if you could, say, produce the text of 1881 by suitably combining the texts of 1739 and a Byzantine manuscript, or by combining 6, 323, and 1739 (either of which would produce effectively every reading found in 1881), then you prefer the former as the optimal stemma; it requires only two sources. This certainly sounds good -- it sounds like an application of parsimony, which is a very powerful tool -- but there are two potential problems. First, there is the problem of directionality -- if C looks like a mix of A and B, can we be sure that it mixes A and B, rather than that B is in fact a mixed version of C? Second, suppose that there are two possible stemma, one heavily mixed (C has half the readings of A and half the readings of B) and one minimally mixed (C has 98% of the readings of D and 2% of the readings of E), which is optimal? Mink, rather than resolve the situation, prefers to settle this matter by hand. Given his lack of a real algorithm, I think that is the right choice -- but a real algorithm is better! And it should be emphasized that, in fact, the optimal substemma may not be the actual stemma of a manuscript, or even of its text, because the entire goal of a substemma is to minimize ancestors -- but in fact a late manuscript, in particular, may have many ancestors. It is perfectly possible that a manuscript with many Byzantine readings and a relative handful of non-Byzantine readings -- a 104 or a 157, say -- may have had an Alexandrian ancestor which, on multiple occasions, was poorly conformed to the Byzantine text via various Byzantine lines, whereas the optimal CBGM stemma would probably consist of one Alexandrian manuscript with a minor influence and a single Byzantine manuscript that was the major stemmatic ancestor.
* Parsimony is a term used by Mink -- incorrectly. (I should probably bold and highlight that statement and put it in flashing print. If you talk to a mathematician about Mink's idea of parsimony, you're going to have problems.) A parsimonious process is one that requires the fewest assumptions or changes -- and Mink correctly uses this in connection with trees. (That is, Mink is probably correct to assume that, if a manuscript is clearly mixed, and several sorts of trees serve equally well to explain the mixture, then the tree involving the fewest number of sources is the most parsimonious tree.) But on p. 153 of Holmes and Wachtel, Mink states that "A scribe uses few rather than many sources" and states that "this assumption follows from... the rule of parsimony." But this is not a parsimonious assumption; "a scribe uses many sources" and "a scribe uses few sources" are equally parsimonious assumptions, and no assumptions about the number of sources is more parsimonious still. This sort of error comes up several times. I think Mink's assumption is usually true, but it can't be justified on parsimony and it would be better for having evidence. And since Mink can't prove it, he should probably test what happens if he assumes the contrary.
* Pre-genealogical coherence simply represents the rate of overall agreements between two manuscripts -- percentage agreement. This is the sort of agreement every other study in the past has used (although usually over smaller samples). It does not classify readings and does not attempt to evaluate whether one reading came before another. Mink notes that high agreement in PGC implies close relationship, but does not explicitly note a second point: that merely having a relatively low PGC does not mean two manuscripts are unrelated. For instance, if a manuscript were compiled by taking alternate readings of B and D, and the PGC of that manuscript were computed against B and D, the result would be fairly low. This even though the manuscript is descended from B and D! PGC by itself only measures relationship between witnesses that have not been heavily mixed -- which is why Mink tried to create a method that goes beyond it.
* Stemmatic ancestor is basically a fancy term for "genetic ancestor or something like it." So, for instance, (I would assume) 1739 is a stemmatic ancestor of 1881 -- 1881's text looks much like 1739's, except that a lot of 1739's readings have been replaced by Byzantine readings. So 1881's text combines readings of 1739 and 𝕸. Can we assume 1881 is actually descended from 1739 -- that is, that there was once a manuscript which was a copy of 1739, and another manuscript that was a copy of that, and that eventually the outcome of that process was 1881? Probably not; 1881 could have been descended from a text similar to 1739 (say, 0243 or 0121) rather than 1739 itself. But the text that 1739 represents is ancestral to 1881.
* Stemmatic coherence is "coherence" between manuscripts which are linked as ancestor and descendant in an optimal substemma. Yet again, since coherence is not defined, this term is not defined either.
* Textual flow is another term Mink handwaves into existence without definition. It seems to mean "genetic relationship" -- readings pass ("flow") from one witness to another as the witness is copied.
The technique is too complicated to really explain here; it is sort of statistical, but not really; is sort of genealogical, but not really; and claims to produce a sort of a stemma -- but not really. For starters, it depends in significant part on assessments of local stemma. Then, too, insofar as it creates a stemma, it creates one from the top down, which very much violates the whole principle of stemmatics. And the result isn't even a stemma anyway! It's just a set of relationships. So at no point do you get a true stemma where you can say, "this is the earliest reading of branch α, this is the earliest of branch β, this is the earliest of branch γ."
Also, the CBGM does not allow for lost ancestors. So in the diagram on p. 97 of Wasserman/Gurry, for instance, it is proposed that C is descended from 1739 -- a fifth century MS. descended from one of the tenth century! Similarly, on p. 105, we find 614 shown as the ancestor of 2412, even though 2412 is the earlier manuscript. It is true that 614 and 2412 are very closely akin; this has been known since Clark collated 2412. They are very likely sisters -- but 614 cannot be the parent. Similarly, while it is certainly true that 1739 and C have a special kinship, closer to each other than the rest of the so-called Alexandrian manuscripts, it must be through lost ancestors, not through any extant witnesses, and if there are lost ancestors, then why don't we draw the linkage through them? The answer given by Wasserman and Gurry (p. 108) is that the stemma they offer isn't a stemma codicum, that is, a real stemma (which is true), but rather a stemma of texts -- meaning that 614's text can be an ancestor of 2412's text (which is true in a way -- 2412 could have been copied from an ancestor of 614) -- but this misses the whole point of a stemma!
And, as Wasserman/Gurry admit on p. 114, "Contamination remains a problem." In other words, mixture -- the reason that no one has been able to produce a New Testament stemma (the real kind, not the CBGM kind) is still with us; the CBGM has not resolved it.
It should also be noted that there does not seem to be any actual evidence that this works -- there has been no testing. It is all based on Mink's assumptions. Some of them are very parsimonious assumptions, which is good. But there are too many of them! And while the CBGM accounts for mixture, it does not explain it (e.g., to again take the case of 1739 and 1881, the CBGM would doubtless say that 1881 descends from 1739 plus some Byzantine text -- but does not tell us if it is descended by mixture from 1739, by correction, or if it is a Byzantine text corrected toward 1739 along the lines of 424c, or something else).
There is also a curious lack of a goal. Yii-Jan Lin, The Erotic Life of Manuscripts, p. 156, says that "at first glance, this approach to texts seems quite postmodern" -- "the Ausgangtext as constructed by these scholars is ahistorical, having no descendants and hailing from no real, original environment. It represents all extant texts, of every date, compressed and analyzed at one moment of analysis...." Lin also objects to its iterative nature. I have no problem with iteration -- but I would go beyond Lin (who backs off from his postmodernist critique) to say that the whole thing exists at a high level of abstraction. But the text, and all phases of the text, are real, even if they have been lost: There was an ancestor of all texts; there was an ancestor of the Byzantine text (admittedly that ancestor may have been the archetype, but it existed), there was an ancestor of every manuscript now extant, and of all their ancestors and descendants now lost. These were real texts, existing in single copies -- given a time machine, they could be seen. Maybe they can't be reconstructed, but they can be inferred.
Although the method is taking textual criticism -- or at least Münster -- by storm, I must admit to deep disquiet about the whole thing. And this is not because I object to mathematical or computer methods; I was making manuscript databases before Mink started publishing his ideas. But the way Mink describes other methods is simply perverse -- e.g., to justify his method, he uses Hutton's notion of text-types, or at best Streeter's, neither of which is the one I would use; both assume the solution. This is setting up a straw man so that he can pretend to have something superior. There is no question that he does have something better than Hutton. Well, anyone with half a brain has something better than Hutton! With all that data and all that computing power, we could do this right and create an actual stemma, as Stephen C. Carlson has demonstrated, and the CBGM would be redundant -- and we wouldn't have to depend on all those arbitrary local stemma. Obviously very many others disagree with my assessment. (Lin, p. 123, suggests that the objection to trying to find a stemma is that it would reduce the need for textual critics to use their other skills. I will admit to thinking the same -- but I would also point out that having a stemma does not mean that there is less need for internal evidence; it just means that the internal evidence must be evaluated in light of the stemma.)
Cola and Commata
An arrangement of the text in sense lines rather than continuously. So, for example, Romans 14:19-20, if written in cola et commata, would probably look something like this:
So let us then seek what makes for peace
and for mutual strengthening.
Do not, for the sake of food,
destroy God's work.
All things are indeed clean,
but it is wrong for you
to make others fail because of what you eat.
Note that cola et commata are based on whole ideas rather than just syllable counts; they are not (e.g.) Homeric stichoi. Some lines are long, some short.
Cola and commata are the standard for Latin texts; both major critical editions of the Vulgate use this format. It is much rarer in Greek manuscripts, which tend to be continuously written, but the Euthalian edition was in sense lines, and the poetic books of the Old Testament were often written as poetry rather than prose.
In Latin, the use of cola became so common that they were sometimes abbreviated by the use of colored letters to mark the beginnings of lines, alternating red and blue. Thus, for instance, where the "classic" format of Psalm 84 (from LXX) would look like this:
Victor filiorum core canticum
Placatus es Domine terrae tuae
reduxisti captivitatem Iacob
dimisisti iniquittem populo tuo
In compressed cola, this would look like Victor filiorum core canticum Placatus es Domine terrae tuae Reduxisti captivitatem Iacob Dimisisti iniquittem populo tuo.
The use of cola et commata is sometimes attributed to Jerome, and he does seem to have promoted the use of the format in the Vulgate. But he certainly wasn't responsible for the use of cola in the Greek Bible, in the poetical books of the Old Testament or in the Euthalian edition.
Collateral Descent
A term also found in genealogy. In essence, it means "related but not in direct line." So a father and daughter are related by direct descent, not collateral descent, while a pair of cousins are collateral relatives. Similarly, in Paul, D and Dabs are related by direct descent (D is the parent of Dabs), but D and G are related by collateral descent (both have a common ancestor, but neither is a parent, or grandparent, or even great-great-grandparent of the other; some sort of mixture and alteration has intervened). Theoretically, of course, all manuscripts of a particular corpus are collaterals of each other, but the term will generally not be used once the relationship becomes sufficiently remote.
The process of deciding the contents of a volume. At its most elementary, it consists of just deciding which books to include and their order (e.g. "the four gospels in the order Matthew, Mark, Luke, John"). But it also includes, for instance, assembling an order for The Canterbury Tales (several different medieval editors did this, producing manuscripts with different orders). Even in cases where the main text is certain, choices must be made about the page layout (deciding, e.g., the number of columns). And compilatio also includes deciding which reader helps and marginalia are included -- e.g. whether to include the Eusebian apparatus in the gospels, or section heads or chapter summaries. Or a drawing that one scribe means as an ornament might be interpreted by another as signalling the end of a text. Aspects of compilatio can therefore influence a text -- if a manuscript in one column is copied from one with two columns, there might be some contamination between columns. Or if there are section headings of some sort, those might contaminate the text, or if they are taken from a manuscript which disagrees with the main run of the text being copied, they can influence the text. An even more obvious example comes in poetic manuscripts -- Middle English poetic manuscripts very often drew lines between rhyme words. For example, lines 1-4 of the poem "Worldes blisse, have good day" would be written as shown below:
Worldes blisse, have good day, ────┐
Now fram min herte wand away. _____⌋
Him for loven min hert is went, ────┐
That thurgh his side spere rent; ___⌋

It will be evident that, if a scribe sees an indication that two words are supposed to rhyme, and they don't, the scribe will be tempted to do something to make them rhyme! So a good textual critic should have some knowledge of manuscript formats, and of the decisions made during compilatio.
Complex Type/Variant
A term created by Greg to contrast with "simple" variants. A run of text is simple if it either has no variants (other than singular variants) or if a variant is binary -- two and only two readings; it is complex if it has more than two. Greg classifies these according to the number of different readings: A Type 1 reading is one where there are no (non-singular) variants; a Type 2 reading is one where there are two and only two variants. These are the simple types of variants. A reading of Type 3 or higher is a complex variant. So, e.g. the variant in Matthew 8:28 has four readings: Γαδαρηνων/Γερασηνων/Γεργσηνων/Γαζαρηνων. The last of these is singular (it's supported only by ℵ*), so there are three non-singular readings. That makes this a Type 3/complex reading. By contrast, the variant between Ασα and Ασαφ in Matthew 1:7 is a Type 2/simple variant (because there are only two readings). The basic difference between simple and complex variants lies in genealogy: In a simple variant, you merely have to decide which variant best explains the other. But, in a complex variant, you need to construct what Kurt Aland would have called a "local genealogy" -- an historical reconstruction of which variants might give rise to the others. The two thus require rather different types of criticism.
Complutensian Polyglot
For more than half a century after the first printed Latin Bible, there was no printed copy of the Greek New Testament. The first to take the matter in hand was Cardinal Francisco Ximénes de Cisneros.
It is worth noting that the Complutensian was not the first attempt at a polyglot. It appears that the great printer Aldus Manutius set up samples for some sort of an edition, and in 1516, a Pentaglott Psalter was published in Genoa with texts in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, and Arabic. (Why start with a psalter? Don't ask me. The psalter was very popular, but also very long....) But Ximenes deserves credit for both attempting the first New Testament, and the first full Greek Bible, and the first polyglot to include the New Testament. Cisneros started the project in 1502; some say it was in celebration of the birth of the heir to the Habsburg dynasty, the future Emperor Charles V.
The place of the printing was Alcalá (Complutum). The Old Testament was to include Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, with Aramaic (the Targum of Onkelos) as a footnote to the Pentateuch; the New Testament was given in Greek and Latin, with additional scholarly tools. The editors were an interesting and distinguished group -- Ælius Antonius of Lebrixa, Demetrius Ducas of Crete, Ferdinandus Pincianus, Diego Lopez de Zuñiga (Stunica, the fellow who eventually had the controversy with Erasmus over 1 John 5:7-8), Alfonsus de Zamora, Paulus Coronellus, and Johannes de Vergera (the last three converted Jews, and Ducas presumably the descendent of Byzantine Christians, so they represent a wide range of viewpoints. It is interesting to note that different modern texts give different lists of editors -- not just spelling the names differently but adding or omitting various people; I've included every name I've found).
The planning for the volume, as mentioned, began in 1502, though it took almost a dozen years for printing to begin. There were six volumes, and the whole project is estimated to have cost 50,000 ducats -- a large fraction of the revenues of the entire diocese of Alcalá;.
The printer was Arnald William de Brocario. It is reported that 600 copies were printed, of which three were on vellum, the rest on paper. Almost a hundred of them still survive. Volume V, containing the New Testament, was finished early in 1514. (It is worth noting that Paul precedes the Acts in this volume.) Volume VI, with a lexicon, index, and other aids, was completed in 1515, and the other four volumes, containing the Old Testament (with, of course, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books) came off the press in 1517. Ximenes unfortunately died late in that year. Papal approval was much delayed (some have said the Pope wouldn't approve the book until borrowed manuscripts were returned, or that the death of Ximénes caused problems, but we don't really don't know the reason); the imprimatur came in 1520, and the volumes were finally made available to the public apparently in 1522.
The appearance of the Greek New Testament has sparked much discussion. (Interestingly, the Greek of the Septuagint is in a more normal Greek style, and uses a font similar to those produced by Aldus Manutius for his Greek books.) It is sometimes said that nothing like the font used for the New Testament has ever been seen. This is exaggerated. What is unusual is not the font but the orthography. There are no rough or smooth breathings, and the accents are peculiar. (Make you wonder if Demetrias Ducas spoke an odd dialect or something. Scrivener, to be sure, denies this, pointing out that Ducas composed some Greek verse which was perfectly well-written and pointed, so he could write "proper" Greek.) The font itself is not particularly unusual. Metzger-Text, p. 85, says the "type used in the New Testament volume is modelled after the style of the handwriting in manuscripts of about the eleventh or twelfth century, and is very bold and elegant." Bold and elegant is certainly is -- but also much simplified from hand-written models. It is very much closer to an earlier Greek typeface, used by Sweynheym and Pannartz in 1465 to print Lactantius. There are differences, to be sure (the delta in the Polyglot is more uncial, while the Lactantius is like a minuscule delta; the Lactantius uses only one form of the letter sigma, the Lactantius uses an uncial gamma and a very strange beta). But the feeling of the two is very similar; the Complutensian is simply a much more refined version of the same style.
The interesting question is why the compositors changed fonts between testaments; why, after using such a beautiful Greek face for the New Testament, did they shift to the ugly Aldine fonts for the Old? The Aldine fonts were immensely complicated (see the article on Books and Bookmaking); was it merely that they hadn't managed to cut such a font in time? Were there complaints about the modern-looking fonts? (And if so, why, given that no one except the publishers had seen the books?) Was it something about the source manuscripts? (This seems unlikely, but since the manuscripts are unknown, it's perhaps possible.) Did the publisher bring in new typesetters who could set the more elaborate Aldine faces and keep track of the accents? My guess is the latter, but it is unlikely that we will ever know.
As mentioned, the manuscripts underlying the Complutensian Polyglot have never been identified, though there is no doubt that the text is largely Byzantine. (Scrivener, p. 180, says that there are 2780 differences from the Elzevir text -- 1046 in the Gospels, 578 in Paul, 542 in Acts and the Catholic Epistles, 614 in the Apocalypse -- which about the same as the number of differences between Elzevir and the true Majority Text. And Scrivener says there are only about 50 typographical errors.) The editors did thank the Pope for use of manuscripts, but there are chronological problems with this; it is likely that, if the Vatican supplied Greek manuscripts, they were used only for LXX, not the NT. (Several scholars say explicitly that two Vatican manuscripts were used for LXX, perhaps those numbered 108 and 248.) Stunica makes explicit reference to one Greek manuscript in the New Testament, but this manuscript (Tischendorf/Scrivener 52a) is lost.
Scrivener notes some interesting and unusual readings of the polyglot's Greek text (e.g. Luke 1:64 αυτον διηρθρωθη και ελαλει with 251 and a handful of other manuscripts; Luke 2:22), and observes that some have seen similarities to 4e, 42, 51. There seems to have been no real attempt to follow up these hints, probably because the Polyglot had no real influence on later printed editions. I strongly suspect that, if anyone really cared, we could identify most of these manuscripts now, simply because we have much more complete catalogs of variants.
It may be that relatively little attention was devoted to the Greek text by the editors. That the Latin was considered more important than the Greek is obvious from the handling of 1 John 5:7-8 (and even more from the comment on the Old Testament that they had placed the Latin in the middle column, between Hebrew and Greek, like Jesus between the two thieves), but Scrivener denies that the Greek was systematically conformed to the Latin -- he believes (Plain Introduction, fourth edition, volume II, p. 177) that the crack about the two thieves was an indication that the editors though the Greek and Hebrew corrupted, and so trusted the Latin more.
The Greek text of the New Testament isn't the only peculiar attribute of the Polyglot. The Hebrew of the Old Testament is not pointed according to the usual method; rather, it appears to conform to the Babylonian pointing. Manuscripts of this type are now few; it is likely that the Polyglot used some now-lost sources (unless, as with the Greek, the editors simply adopted their own pointing system). This would seem to imply that the Complutensian is more significant for Old than New Testament criticism.
Conflation, Conflate Text
A conflate text is one which is made up by combining the readings of multiple sources. So, for example, if one were to print the text of B verbatim, except that one added Mark 16:9-20 from some other source, the result would be a conflate copy. (Thus every New Testament edition from Erasmus to the UBS edition is conflate.) Or in Luke 24:52, where 𝔓75 ℵ B C* L etc. read ευλογουντες, D reads αινουντες, and A Cc K W etc. read αινουντες και ευλογουντες, the reading αινουντες και ευλογουντες is a conflation of the readings of B and of D.
Conflation is the act of conflating texts.
In one of those curious cases where New Testament textual criticism differs from classical, the phenomenon of two texts becoming intermingled is more often called "mixture" in a New Testament context. One might perhaps try to draw a fine distinction between mixture and conflation (e.g. that mixture happens over many generations as texts are compared, but conflation happens only once), but in practice the two terms can probably be treated as synonyms.
In popular usage, the word "collation," which is a comparison of texts, is sometimes used for "conflation," which is a combination of texts. This is very much to be deplored, as it leads to grave misunderstandings about the nature of texts and how they were edited.
A term for readings where two or more sources agree. Thus, for instance, ℵ and B are in conjunction in omitting Mark 16:9-20. Where texts disagree, they are in disjunction. The term is typically used in classical textual criticism in constructing a stemma.
In simplest terms, the introduction of alien elements into a text. Thus the act of contamination results in mixture, or a conflate text. Sometimes "contamination" is used to refer to a text that has been deliberately conflated, but this is not always so.
Although the term "contamination" on its face would seem to imply that the resulting text is inferior, this is not always the case. All the term means is that the text is not a pristine descendant of its ancestral text. 424c, for instance, is a contaminated text which is much better (that is, closer to the original text) than the uncontaminated Byzantine text of 424*.
Coucher Book
A term which has had different meanings over the centuries. In current usage, the terms refer to a very large book, also known as an lectern book or a ledger book (spelled "ligger" in some Middle English references), or, if it is a Biblical volume, an Atlantic Bible. It is called a "coucher book" because it was read on a couch or lectern -- i.e. it was "couched" (from French couchier).
The term itself seems to have originated in the fifteenth century (first recorded 1434; "ledger book" is attested from 1418) and in the Latin west, so it will not commonly be used to refer to Greek manuscripts. Originally it was used simply for service volumes such as missals and breviaries, which were generally couched in one place because that was where they were used.
The usage for large volumes is more recent, and seemingly accidental: starting in the nineteenth century, because it was assumed that a book left on a lecturn must be very large -- too big to hold in the hand -- it was assumed that all coucher/ledger bibles were big. The coucher book most familiar to students of the New Testament will surely be the Codex Gigas (gig of the Old Latin). Students of Middle English literature will know of the Vernon Manuscript (Oxford, Bodleian Library MS. Eng. Poet. A.1), which was called "a vast Massy MS" by a 1697 cataloger; this religious volume is about 39 cm. by 54 cm. (and may have been slightly larger as originally bound); it currently weighs about 22 kg./49 lbs, and given that it has lost about a fifth of its pages, must initially have weighed about 27 kg./60 lbs. The even larger Simeon Manuscript (British Library, MS. Additional 22283), which is about 39 cm. by 59 cm., now contains rather less than half its original leaves, so we can hardly estimate its original weight, but it too was heavy. Manuscripts this large were not common, because they required such large sheets of parchment, but neither were they especially rare. Perhaps the largest number of coucher books were missals and antiphonals -- the latter needing to be large so that both parties of performers could see the writing (which obviously was large in such cases; in non-service books, the writing was not necessarily so large).
Although the words used for these volumes are recent, the idea of these large books was clearly well-known in antiquity; a number of illuminated psalters show an image of groups of monks singing around a coucher book (presumably a lectern bible or other service book). This image is usually found at the beginning of Psalm 97 Vulgate (Psalm 98 MT), "Cantate Domino canticum novum" ("Sing to the Lord a new song").
The term "coucher" seems to have been used mostly in northern England, while "ledger" is southern. There was an order, early in the Reformation, to destroy the old (Catholic) coucher books, which perhaps opened the way for the new definition; it soon was used of parish registers and cartularies instead of service books. (Ironically, most of these were books of rather small size.)
There does seem to have been an increase in large-format books starting around the fourteenth century. The goal seems to have been to have all materials relevant to a particular topic gathered in one place.
Alexandrian Critical Symbols
The scholars of the ancient Alexandrian library are often credited with inventing textual criticism, primarily for purposes of reconstructing Homer. This is a somewhat deceptive statement, as there is no continuity between the Alexandrian scholars and modern textual critics. What is more, their methods are not really all that similar to ours (they would question lines, e.g., because they didn't think Homer could write an imperfect line). But their critical symbols will occur on occasion in New Testament works as well as (naturally) classical works. In addition, Origen used some of the symbols in the Hexapla.
In fullest form, the Alexandrians used six symbols:
-ObelusOldest and most basic (and occasionally shown in other forms); indicates a spurious line. (Used by Origen in the Hexapla to indicate a section found in the Hebrew but not the Greek. For this purpose, of course, it had sometimes to be inserted into the text, rather than the margin, since the LXX, unlike Homer, was prose rather than poetry.)
⊱ or > DipleIndicates a noteworthy point (whether an unusual word or an important point of content). Often used in conjunction with scholia, e.g. to note a word used only once, or to mark errors in the text. This role was also played by a marginal chi, χ, which E. G. Turner calls the most common of all the critical symbols.
(dotted diple)
Largely specific to Homer; indicates a difference between editions
AsteriskosA line repeated (incorrectly) in another context (the location of the repetition was marked with the asterisk plus obelus). (Used by Origen to note a place where the Greek and Hebrew were not properly parallel.)
※ -Asterisk plus
Indicates the repetition of a passage which correctly belongs elsewhere (the other use, where the passage is "correct," is also marked, but only with the asterisk)
AntistigmaIndicates lines which have been disordered
χ chiSee under the Diple, >.
Cruciform, cruciform text
Text written in the form of a cross (crux). The most famous example of this is probably the gospel manuscript 047, but there are a number of lectionaries which use this format. Those who wish to see examples of the form may consult Jeffrey C. Anderson, The New York Cruciform Lectionary, College Art Association/Pennsylvania University Press, 1992. This include more than sixty illustrations of cruciform texts, with discussion, although unfortunately the commentary is devoted almost entirely to the preparation of the manuscript and its artwork rather than its text.
It is usually explained that cruciform manuscripts are rare because they are wasteful of parchment, and this would certainly be true if they resembled a genuine cross used for crucifixion, which is tall and narrow. But a cruciform manuscript is typically shaped more like a plus sign + than a proper cross. Typically it will look something like this:

Thus the text, at its narrowest, occupies about 60% of the page, and also about 50% of its height is written at full width. That means that about 80% of the writing area contains text, and only 20% is blank -- and even that 20% can be used for illustrations and such that would otherwise eat into the text. Cruciform manuscripts are inefficient, but not so inefficient as to make them impossibly expensive had there been demand. Clearly there wasn't demand.
Also, although full-blown cruciform manuscripts are rare, it is not uncommon to find parts of a manuscript in cruciform. Often the format is used for some sort of reader help, such as the table of contents, the prologues to the books, or the Eusebian letter explaining the canon table. Or, if there was room, the last page of a gospel might be written in cruciform.
A difficult reading, a place where editors disagree very much. Broadly speaking, these fall into four classes:
1. A case where the textual tradition is united or nearly, but in which the text appears to be nonsense (this is very common in criticism of the Hebrew Bible and in classical texts, although somewhat less so in the New Testament). An obvious example is 1 Samuel 13:1, where Saul is said to be one year old and to have reigned two years -- despite the fact that he was, first, an active king, and second, a father and even a grandfather when he died. Pretty impressive for a three-year-old! Obviously the verse cannot be understood as it literally reads.
2. A case where internal evidence is not entirely decisive and the witnesses are so closely divided that no reading appears superior. An example of this might be 1 Thessalonians 2:7, where ΕΓΕΝΗΘΗΜΕΝΝΗΠΙΟΙ (εγενηθημεν νηπιοι) is found in 𝔓65 ℵ* B C* D* F G I 104* 1962 and ΕΓΕΝΗΘΗΜΕΝΗΠΙΟΙ (εγενηθημεν ηπιοι) in ℵc A Cc Dc K L P 6 33 81 256 365 436 1319 1739 1881 2127. Here UBS prefers the first reading, presumably on the basis of external evidence (although I for one would not consider a reading supported by A 33 81 1739 1881 and family 1319 to be much more weakly attested than one supported by ℵ* B C* D* F G I 1962), but the New Revised Standard Version chose to print "gentle."
3. A case where there are so many readings, all so weakly attested, that there is no clearly superior reading. Here an example might be Galatians 1:8, where UBS prints the reading of D2 6 33 256 263 1319 2127 pm, ευαγγελιζητι υμιν, but there are other readings attested by 𝔓51-vid B H 1175 1739 2200, by ℵ* b, by ℵ A 81, by K P 075 365 439 1881 pm arm, by D*, by F G Ψ, and others.
4. A case where the internal evidence clearly supports one reading but the external evidence against it is overwhelming. An example of this, to me, is 1 Corinthians 13:3. The reading καυθησωμαι is ungrammatical and would invite correction, and a single letter change would produce both the reading καυχησωμαι of 𝔓46 ℵ A B 0150 33 1739 and the reading καυθησομαι of C D F G L 81 104 263 436 1175 1881*. Thus, on internal grounds, καυθησωμαι is the best reading. But the attestation of καυθησωμαι is pitiful -- K Ψ 6 256 365 1319 1573 1739c 1881c 1962. Thus there is no reading which is entirely satisfactory.
Of course many cruxes combine traits of these types of problems. The key point is that these are readings where editors have great difficulty with the text or, especially if the reading is of the first type, with its interpretation.
The Irish name for a "book shrine." These were often highly elaborate protective covers. Sometimes the very case was revered, but they could also be effective guards for the contents -- there is at least one instance of a book in its cumdach being tossed into the sea and later being recovered essentially intact. The covers of the most valued manuscripts were often decorated and even inlaid with gold or jewels.
A sort of "document validation" found in some manuscripts where there were supposed to be two copies. This probably doesn't affect New Testament manuscripts very often, but it could involve such things as a Biblical bill of sale. In a cyrograph, the two copies of a writing were written on the top and bottom of the same piace of parchment or paper, like this:
This is the long, elaborate, complicated
and nitpicky text of my document

This is the long, elaborate, complicated
and nitpicky text of my document

When the document was finished, it would be cut in two through the word CYROGRAPH (or whatever word was used to validate the document). If ever there was need to validate the two halves, the two could be placed alongside each other. If the two halves of the cut message matched, then you could be (fairly) sure that you had both halves of the true original.
As time passed, cyrographs became even more elaborate. The indentures used for soldiers in the Hundred Years' War, for instance, didn't just cut the contract in half, they cut it in half in a zig-zag pattern. This made it even harder to forge a contract, and also made the identification of the two halves even more secure.
A term for writing, usually at the beginning of a book or section, that gradually diminishes in size until it reaches the standard text size for the book in which it is included. The technique is usually used for book headings or other instances where a major headline is used. So a copy of the Gospel of John might look like this:
The technique seems to have been particularly popular in illuminated Vulgate manuscripts, such as the Lindisfarne and Durrow Gospels and the Cathach Psalter.
Direct Descent
Just what it sounds like: If manuscript Z is a copy of Y which is a copy of X, then Y descends from X by direct descent, and Z descends from both Y and X by direct descent. If there is mixture, then the descent is not direct. Direct descent is common in work with non-Biblical manuscripts, but rare for Biblical works, New Testament manuscripts in particular.
Direct Editing
A term for the style of editing advocated by George Kane and used in his editions of Piers Plowman. In essense, it consists of using all the manuscripts simultaneously, by contrast to Best Text Editing (using one manuscript and deviating from it only in extraordinary circumstances) or Recensional Editing (creating a Lachmann-style stemma) or Parallel Text Editing (which isn't really the creation of an edition at all; it just prints a lot of different copies). Thus Direct Editing is functionally equivalent to Eclectic Editing in the New Testament. As with eclecticism, there can be an extreme version in which the manuscripts are simply sources of readings and a more limited version in which it is acknowledged that some manuscripts are better than others. Kane does seem to have regarded some texts as better than others, so Kane's version of Direct Editing can be fairly closely equated with "Rational Eclecticism." But there are complications -- one of the biggest tools of Direct Editing is the understanding of the author's style, e.g., so it requires a substantial amount of authorial text to apply. You could use it for Paul or Luke, but it would be helpless to deal with Jude or even James. It also requires a large enough corpus of manuscripts to let the editor sort through them to try to determine the author's style -- so forget for dealing with, say, the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, too. Indeed, a backlash has started to develop over the method's "theoretical and methodological inadequacies to handle complexities" (Vincent McCarren & Douglas Moffat, editors, A Guide to Editing Middle English, University of Michigan Press, 1998, p. 40.) On the other hand, Direct Editing at least seeks to establish the original text, as Best Text Editing and Parallel Text Editing do not.
Given the vast variety of Middle English texts which need editing, I think that Direct Editing has its place. Odds are, though, that it should not entirely replace either Best Text Editing (which may be needed when one text is far better than the others, which often happens when something survives primarily or only in print editions) or Parallel Text Editing (in which the editor frankly gives up and just prints two or more diplomatic editions side by side) or Recensional Editing (which is almost always the best choice if a stemma can be created). For the one Middle English text I edited ("The Gest of Robyn Hode"), I made up a stemma (the five substantial texts fell into two main branches, with each of the five texts the parent or child of at least one other; there were two fragments too short to identify), but then eclectically chose between the two branches rather than choosing a best text; there was no best text!
Directional variants
A variant which can only go one way -- that is, where one variant could give rise to the other but not vice versa. (A very useful distinction to know for genealogy; one of the major reasons why it is argued that the Alexandrian text is prior to the Byzantine is that it is claimed that many of the differences between the two are directional variants with the Alexandrian reading being the original.) An American example of a directional variant might be if one person recorded the text of "America the Beautiful" as
Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain
while another took it down as
Oh beautiful for spacious grain
We don't know why this error came about, except poor memory, but clearly no one would be able to figure out the longer reading from the shorter; the shorter reading can only be a corruption of the longer.
Note that, just because a variant is directional, it does not always follow that the variant which could have been the source of the other is the source of the other. Take the example above. While
Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain
could have been the source of
Oh beautiful for spacious grain,
it is equally possible that the original is
Oh beautiful for spacious rain, for amber waves of grain.
The variant rain/skies is not directional, and either could have been the source of the shorter reading (indeed, a critic might be tempted to prefer "rain," because then the omission could be due to haplography). Thus directional readings perhaps have more importance in determining a stemma than actually reconstructing an original text.
A term for readings where two or more sources disagree. Thus, for instance, A and B are in disjunction on whether to omit Mark 16:9-20. Where texts agree, they are in conjunction. The term is typically used in classical textual criticism in constructing a stemma; it is rarely used in New Testament criticism (where, for practical purposes, there is disjunction for every word of every text, although of course the major manuscripts agree for the large majority of the text).
A particular form of scribal error, in which a scribe accidentally repeats a letter or sequence of letters which should be written only once. Most such readings can be detected instantly, but in some instances where a sequence of letters occurs once in some manuscripts and twice in others, it is not clear whether the double reading is the result of dittography or whether the single reading follows from haplography. A famous example of this is in 1 Thes. 2:7, where we see a variation between εγενηθημεν ηπιοι and εγενηθημεν νηπιοι; is the reading νηπιοι a dittographic repetition of ν or a haplographic loss of ν? A relatively common dittography involves the conjunction μεν, in readings such as οιδαμεν (or οιδα μεν) versus οιδαμεν μεν. Another case where dittography may be present is the frequent refrain αμην (αμην) λεγω υμιν -- is the presence of the second αμην a dittography, or the lack of it a haplography?
Documentary Hand
Term used in contrast to Book Hand. A term for a writing style that was considered suitable for ordinary notes and memos, but not good enough for the main text of a book or other writing intended to endure. Book hands were often more elaborate than documentary hands, and often took more time and effort to write -- e.g. book hands usually did not join letters, unlike documentary hands, which were often cursive. In the early New Testament period, documentary hands were more likely to be cursive, but by the second millenium, this had changed -- in Latin writings in particular, both upper and lower case were used in book hands; the key was simply the lack of joined letters and, perhaps, the use of more strokes -- e.g. 𝖙𝖍𝖎𝖘 𝖜𝖔𝖚𝖑𝖉 𝖇𝖊 𝖆 𝖇𝖔𝖔𝖐 𝖍𝖆𝖓𝖉; 𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝓌ℴ𝓊𝓁𝒹 𝒷ℯ 𝒶 𝒹ℴ𝒸𝓊𝓂ℯ𝓃𝓉𝒶𝓇𝓎 𝒽𝒶𝓃𝒹. It is not unusual to find book hands in the body of a text, with marginalia in a documentary hand, especially if the marginalia were added casually instead of being part of a standard collection of glosses.
Dominical Words
Those parts of the New Testament text -- in particular, of the Gospels -- which are (regarded as) quotations from Jesus himself. Thus the Sermon on the Mount or Jesus's last words are Dominical Words.
Drollery, Drolleries
A peculiar feature of late Illuminated Manuscripts, though more Drolleries often of secular than biblical documents. A drollery, in this context, was a fantastic creature, often drawn in the margins of a manuscript. At right: Two drolleries from a French manuscript, perhaps intended to be a duck-billed elephant and a bird-horse chimera.
We might note that not all drolleries are strange creatures set in margins. In the Lindisfarne Gospels, for instance, letters may become drolleries. The first two letters of Jerome's preface to the Gospels are P and L (from "plures"). The P is a snake with the head of a dog (I think) but the tongue of a serpent; the L is perhaps intended to be a snake with a bird's head. There are many other instances of these snakes-with-bird-heads. These might not always be called drolleries (they might be regarded as illuminations), but the resulting creatures are generally quite improbable. And they may well be the ancestors of true drolleries; in the Lindisfarne Gospels, although there is much decoration of letters, we see no letters containing miniature pictures. This is thought to have begun about a half a century later (i.e. around 750), and it was in these miniatures that drolleries became commonplace.
Although not generally referred to as drolleries, we see something somewhat similar in Jewish illuminated manuscripts; because of Jewish (and Islamic) representation of anthropomorphic figures, we often see images of humans with bird heads.
Dry Point
A term from manuscript preparation, particularly of parchment. When parchment was prepared for writing, it had to have lines ruled on it to guide the scribe. The normal method was to prick holes in the parchment and then draw lines between the holes ("ruling"). Until roughly the early twelfth century, the usual method of drawing lines was to use a straight edge and a sharp object; this produced a furrow on one side of the parchment and a ridge on the other. The sharp object, since it left no ink mark, was called a "dry point." Starting from the twelfth century, it became more common to use soft lead (plumbum) to mark the parchment; this was called a "plummet," and it left a faint but visible mark on the parchment. Eventually, ink was also used to rule lines.
A term from paleography, referring to the angle of the strokes of the verticals. Thus a modern italic font has a higher ductus angle than a roman font.
A term from printing and printed texts, although I doubt there has ever been a duodecimo manuscript. It refers to an edition where the sheets of the quire are folded to form 12 leaves/24 sheets (with the sheets often bound in irregular quires of 16 sheets then eight sheets). Such books tend to be small, since the duodecimo folds the pages in more places than the folio, quarto, or octavo.
Easily Confused Letters
Confusing Uncials Many mistakes in copying arise when a scribe misreads the exemplar. Handwriting being what it is, chances are that, on occasion, almost everything has been read as something else. But some errors are much more likely than others. In Greek uncials, for example, the letters shown at right were frequently and easily confused:
In Greek minuscule hands, with many different styles and vast numbers of ligatures, there were many more combinations which might be confused occasionally. Some of the most common confusions, however, include
β κ μ
μ ν
ε υ
It will be noted that errors which could occur in uncials are more important for the history of the text, as these errors could have arisen early in the history of copying.
Similar confusions could, of course, occur in other languages. The list for Coptic, for instance, closely resembled the Greek list, as Coptic letters were based on the Greek. Latin had its own list. In uncials, the primary problems were:
(the list for inscriptional capitals is somewhat different, as E, for example, was straight in capitals but curved in uncials. Since, however, there are no known copies of the New Testament inscribed on stone tablets, this is of little concern.)
Easily confused letters in Latin minuscule script include
a u
o e
cl d
n u
s f
c t
The classic example in Hebrew of easily confused letters is ר and ד; we also see confusions of י and ו and ן; others may occur in other scripts.
In addition, almost any combination of letters with many vertical strokes (such as i l m n t; see under minim) could cause confusion. Particular scripts might add additional confusions; Beneventan script, for instance, used an odd form of the letter t which closely resembles the letter a!
Also, it's worth remembering that the above lists are based on book hands. In the days when almost all copying was done by trained copyists, one could expect nearly everything to be written in such hands. But as literacy became widespread, this tended to break down. Casual writers could produce almost anything. A book on English letterforms, for instance, gives samples of sixteenth century writing which show forms of the letter a which look like b, n, u, and w; many writers made c resemble t; d and e could both look like a Θ (!), and so forth.
We should keep in mind that, although we usually think of scribes confusing letters, the modern reader can also make mistakes of confused letters. For example, in the Middle English poem "Judas," the first major edition, that of Francis James Child, reads a word in line 6 as "tunesman"; the next, of Kenneth Sisam, suggests that the word is "cunesman." There is no reason to suspect an error in the manuscript; it's just that one or another modern editor (probably Child) was not sufficiently knowledgeable about the letterforms.
Most confusions involved letters that looked alike, simply because most manuscripts were copied from other manuscripts, but when a manuscript was copied by dictation, or when the scribe kept the sound of the word rather than its meaning in his head, we could get confusions based on hearing. This is particularly likely to affect names and proper nouns, since they don't have a particular meaning. Common mistakes of this type include
γ κ
δ τ
ι ει η οι υ
θ τ
κ χ
ξ σ
ο ω
π φ
A final reminder concerns numbers. In Greek as in most modern languages, a number could be written as a numeral or spelled out (e.g. in Rev. 13:18, the "number of the beast" could be εξακοσιοι εξηκοντα εξ or ΧΞΣ'). It will be evident that this can produce different confusions. Happily, this class of error is perhaps more likely in Latin, with its repeated I and X symbols, than Greek, where digits are not repeated.
The manuscript from which a manuscript was copied (compare "abschrift," the resulting manuscript, that is, the copy of the exemplar). We know the exemplars of certain manuscripts (e.g. Dp/06 is the exemplar of Dabs1), but generally the term refers to lost manuscripts.
Originally used of scrolls -- it refers to their unrolled state. Now generally used to mark the end of a major section of text, e.g. the end of a particular gospel in a codex of the four gospels.
A way to say that something exists. So B is extant; 𝔓75 is extant (mostly); the common ancestor of B and 𝔓75, although it must have existed since they are so close, is not extant.
External Evidence
Evidence based on the readings found in the manuscripts (as opposed to internal evidence, which based on the nature of the readings). External evidence is based on the number and nature of the witnesses supporting a particular reading. For further details see External Critical Rules under Canons of Criticism.
In essence, an English word for haplography. It refers to a loss of letters when a scribe's attention jumps from one set of letters to another below it in the document.
The Fallacy of Number
The belief that frequency of copies indicates authority.
This is one of the arguments often cited by those who favor the Byzantine or the Majority Text. It is, however, simply invalid. Hence the term Fallacy of Number.
To be clear, a fallacy is something which does not follow logically. For example, it's easy to prove that 1=2 if you allow division by zero. But you can't divide by zero. The proof is false because it relies on impermissible methods.
Why is counting numbers of manuscripts invalid? Because it only works if all manuscripts are copied and destroyed at the same rate. If simply counting numbers were sufficient, then the Latin Vulgate would be the original New Testament -- there are more Latin than Greek New Testaments in existence.
We can in fact demonstrate that there are cases where the majority is not the original. Almost all our manuscripts of Euclid are of Theon's recension. It says in the manuscripts that they're rewritten! But they are still the majority. Similarly, the majority of manuscripts of Terence are from an edition by Calliopius -- which shows clear evidence of either bad editing or a bad manuscript base. They are still the majority; it was only luck that preserved any text not from this edition.
There are many ways in which an un-original text can become common. It might look more authoritative for some reason. A particularly strong church figure might promulgate it. It might come from a region where persecutions against Christians were few, so manuscripts weren't destroyed. It might be the local text of a region where the Christian population is particularly large. Most of these have been urged as arguments for and against the Byzantine text. We do not, at present, know which of them are true -- if any. We do know that they are sufficient to disallow us from counting manuscripts to determine which text is original.
The fallacy is sometimes called the "Democratic Fallacy." The Democratic Fallacy is that, just because people believe something, it's true. For most of history, the majority of people believed that the sun moved around the earth -- which is, simply, false. The fact that lots of people believed it doesn't make it true. A more recent example, which shows the fallacy even more clearly, is the American war in Iraq. In 2003, most Americans believed it was right. In 2007, most believed it wrong. Was the war right? Wrong? People will probably disagree for as long as it is remembered. What is certain is, if it was right in 2003, it was right in 2007; if it was wrong in 2007, it was wrong in 2003. In one year or the other, the majority was wrong.
Note that the fallacy of number is merely a fallacy. That is, number has absolutely no bearing on what was the original text. The Byzantine text may be original. Most think not, but the fact that the advocates of the Byzantine text cite numbers should not be held against it (except in the indirect sense that, since the Byzantine advocates cite numbers, they imply that they are sorely lacking in valid arguments. To me, the fact that they even cite numerical preponderance is proof of desperation -- they want the Byzantine text, for whatever reason, and so grasp at straws. But this is no more evidence of the falseness of the Byzantine text than is numerical preponderance evidence for it).
But I must emphasize: The Fallacy of Number is a fallacy. It is an argument that should be retired, forever. Most arguments in textual criticism are about data or interpretations. This one is not. It is purely about mathematical logic. There is a right answer -- and the right answer is that counting noses doesn't work.
For more mathematics on this point, see the article on Fallacies in general.
In the context of textual criticism, particularly when referring to texts written without word divisions, "fission" refers to splitting what the author intends to be one word into two. So, for instance, there are a number of towns and proper names in the Septuagint where the name starts with the same letters as a preposition. So Απολλωνιος (Apollonios, a Seleucid general mentioned in 1 Maccabees) might be read as απ Ολλωνιος, (the one) from (H)ollonios, or Εισσαχαρ, a common itacism for Issachar, might be read as εις Σαχαρ, (going) into Sachar/Sychar. Εκβατανα, the great city in Mesopotamia, might be read as εκ Βατανα, from Batana. And, of course, this can often happen with ordinary words, especially compound verbs, as well. The contrary error is "fusion."
Flyleaf, Flyleaves
More a binding term than a textual term, referring to the leaves added at the beginning or end of a manuscript during binding. They are usually blank, or at least contain content not related to the main content of the book, but sometimes this other content is valuable either for what it says or for the indications it gives about the date of a book. And, of course, flyleaves can help protect the inner pages from damage, especially if the binding is lost or damaged. Thus, ideally, when old manuscripts are rebound, one would like to see the ancient flyleaves preserved as well as the text, although obviously the text comes first!
A term of significance in bibliography. The frame (of wood or metal) in which pages of type are placed for printing. Since books are printed in folio or quarto or octavo, each forme will contain the text of multiple pages. Two formes were used to print each sheet (in later printing, both sides being printed simultaneously, but early books perhaps printed one side at a time). The side used to print the outer (recto) face of the first page of the sheet was, not unnaturally, called the outer forme; the forme used to print the other side was the inner forme.
Foul Papers
A term primarily from criticism of recent authors, "foul papers" is in essence a word for a rough draft -- something that is scribbled and hand-revised before a fair copy is made for publication or performance. The term is very common in Shakespeare criticism, where it is suspected that many plays were printed from "foul papers" rather than the final drafts used for performance. The term has little relevance in New Testament criticism, although it is occasionally suggested that differences between copies arose because one group of manuscripts are based on foul papers, another on final copies. (E.g. this has been suggested of Acts, although the differences between the "Western" and Alexandrian texts are so great and are of such a nature that a foul papers/fair copy distinction seems most unlikely.) I've never heard anyone refer to "foul papers" in a New Testament context, though.
In the context of textual criticism, particularly when referring to texts written without word divisions, "fusion" refers to combining what the author intends to be two words into a single word. Assume, for instance, that there were a town which had the name "Elthein." (I admit this is a stretch!) So a Greek author might intend to say that someone was in the town of Elthein, and write εις ελθειν. This would be copied as ΕΙϹΕΛΘΕΙΝ, and a later scribe might read this as "entering," εισελθειν. The contrary error, of splitting what should be one word is "fission."
Genealogical Edition
By contrast to a best-text edition of an author, or a majority text edition, or a diplomatic edition (which prints only one manuscript rather than comparing them), or a radically eclectic edition (which uses multiple manuscripts but does not consider their relationships), a genealogical edition is one which reconstructs its text based on the stemma of the manuscripts. Thus Lachmann's editions of classical works (e.g.) were genealogical editions.
The Genealogical Method
Considered to be the method practiced by F. J. A. Hort in the preparation of the Westcott & Hort edition of the New Testament. (Though in fact Hort did not use genealogy, just the presuppositions of genealogy.) In theory, the basic procedure resembles that of Non-Biblical Textual Criticism performed in a sort of an abstract way: Examine the witnesses and group them into text-types, then examine the text-types. This evidence then can be used to determine the original text. (It should be noted, however, that if Hort ever really did quantitative study of text-types, he left no evidence of this -- he offers no proofs of how he grouped the manuscripts into his four types. He simply assumed the types, without examining them in detail -- which may help explain why he distinguished the related "Neutral" and "Alexandrian" types.)
Hort's use of the genealogical method led him to the theory of "Neutral," Alexandrian, "Syrian" (Byzantine), and "Western" texts which formed the basis of the Westcott-Hort edition. More recent scholars tend to modify aspects of this textual theory, with the result that the "genealogical method" is now rather in dispute. This is unfair; although Hort's results cannot stand, and his description of his method is too theoretical (and was not, in fact, the entire basis of his text), the principle of grouping and editing by text-types has by no means been disproved. See, e.g., the section on The Use of Text-Types in the article on Text-Types.
Genetic Edition
Not to be confused with a Genealogical Edition. The term is rather unfortunate, since it does not refer to a text where the genetic ancestry is studied. Rather, it is an edition which attempts to show the development of a text over time. So, for instance, an edition which compares the rough draft of a work with the final edition, or compares the author's final manuscript with what his publisher published, would be a genetic edition. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a genetic edition of the New Testament -- indeed, there cannot be one, unless we learn a great deal more about NT textual history than we currently know. The closest thing we have would be a genetic edition of the printed Greek New Testament, such as the Scrivener edition that printed the Textus Receptus but included the variants of Griesbach, Lachmann, Tregelles, and Tischendorf in the margin.
Glossa Ordinaria
The name given to a massive, standardized set of glosses to the Latin Vulgate, so widely distributed and so popular that (despite its extraordinary complexity) it was printed by Adolph Rusch in the 1480s. The Glossa Ordinaria was amazingly elaborate, with the main text of the Vulgate, interlinear glosses, and marginal glosses, and identification of sources. It was often set in multiple columns for pages. I wish I could reproduce an example, but frankly the copies all have such small print that my old eyes can't really read them! The example below, a version of John 1 in English, isn't supposed to reproduce the actual glossa ordinaria but just to give you an idea of the layout.
INthe beginning wasGen. 1.1: In the beginning
God created the heavens...
Greek omits "the"the WordWord: Greek ΛΟΓΟΣ
saying, reason; much broader
in meaning than the
English word.
and the Word was withAug
with: Greek προς, toward, coming to
Implying that the Word
is essential to God
God, and the Word wasIer
literally "the God"
God. ' Itnote the inverted word order: and God
(anarthrous) was the Word; both are nominative.
It: or "He"; Greek ουτοςFor the existence of wisdom
in the beginning, see
Prov. 8:22, where Wisdom
was the first thing created
was in the beginning

Note the continuous biblical text in relatively large print, but running across different column widths as needed. The interlinear comments are in the smallest type of all, set below the words they apply to. Medium-sized print is used for actual commentary, often from a patristic source, with these sources listed in the margin in abbreviated for (e.g. in the fake example here, Aug=Augustine and Ier=Jerome). Red is used for Biblical citations in the commentary. It's an exceeding elaborate form, and scribes must surely have tried to copy the format of their exemplars exactly rather than try to format the pages themselves!
Today, we think we know what a glossary is: it's a set of definitions of terms. But this is an evolved usage. A glossary, properly, is a collection of glosses. Glosses were, of course, well known in ancient Bibles. Eventually people started making up standard collections of glosses for the New Testament (ultimately settling on a small number of editions of standard glosses such as Peter Lombard's). And from glossed Bibles it was just a small step to collect the glosses without the text and make a glossary. And, from there, it was another small step to go from glossaries organized by scriptural passage to the modern sort of glossary based on alphabetical or some other order. These glossaries are, potentially, a rich source of patristic readings, but little seems to have been done with them.
There is an important caution about glossaries once they have become separated from their source texts. Experience shows that scribes were particularly willing to add or omit words from their glossaries. If a scribe knew a word, he would think the glossary didn't need it and might leave it out; on the other hand, if he came across a word he didn't know, he might create an entry for it (and wind up giving it the wrong definition!). So even a standard glossary may exist in as many different states as there are manuscripts. Nor will it be easy to reconstruct the original, since the differences are the result of deliberate and conscious alteration.
Despite the problems, there is much scope for work on glossaries. The Magna Derivationes of Hugotio of Pisa, for instance, exists in about two hundred copies but remains in need of editing.
Textual criticism of glossaries has interesting twists. Vincent P. McCarren, "Editing Glossographical Texts," in Vincent McCarren & Douglas Moffat, editors, A Guide to Editing Middle English, University of Michigan Press, 1998), p. 144, offers an example from (the editor of) MS. Harley 1758, a Latin to English glossary: Antea: Þens -- i.e. "Antea: thence." The Latin word means "before," which does not fit the gloss "thence," which implies a time afterward. So McCarren suggests that Þ should be read a y (in late hands, the two were often confused, hence barbarisms like "Ye Olde Shoppe" when what the signs actually say is Þe Olde Shoppe -- The Olde Shoppe). If we then redivide the words, we have "Ante: ayens." "Ayens" is a perfectly good Middle English word (relatives of which still survive in Scots dialects) for "before," so with these corrections, the glossary makes sense.
Also making textual criticism of glossaries difficult is the fact that the entries have no context -- if an ordinary text reads, say, "I wemt to the store," you can easily correct it to read "I went to the store." But if a glossary reads "wemt: travailed," do you correct "wemt" to "went," or "travailed" to "traveled," or both, or neither?
Perhaps there is a reason we don't see many critical editions of old glossaries....
In broadest terms, the loss of letters in a text. It occurs when a scribe skips ahead one or more letters in a manuscript, omitting the intervening letters. Haplography is thus the inverse of dittography. Haplography may arise from many causes (homoioteleuton and homoioarcton being the most common), and while it can usually be detected by a casual reader, in some cases it may produce a variant which could also be the result of dittography (see the examples in that entry). The phenomenon will sometimes be called "lipography" in manuals of classical textual criticism, though I have never seen that word used in any New Testament manual of criticism.
Another term used in English manuals is "eyeskip" -- the eye skipping from one instance of a letter combination to another. A French terms is saut du même au même -- "to jump from the same to the same."
Historiated Initial
HistoriatedInitial A name for a particular form of illumination in which the first letter of a section is drawn at many times the size of the size of the other letters in the writing, and an historical scene is drawn inside the letter. This is by contrast with an ordinary decorated initial, which may be quite elaborate but doesn't tell a story. The image at right, for instance, would be a (very poor) historiated initial of the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25:31 and following, which opens οταν δε ελθη ο υιος.... Here, the initial O of οταν is historiated with some (very low-quality) images of goats. (Hey, you want something good, get me an image I don't have to pay for....)
Holster Book
A term used for books that are much taller than they are wide, as if someone took a two-column book and cut it in half and kept only one column. Despite the title, they were not usually kept in holsters. Rather, it seems likely that they were used by teachers and travelling performers because their narrow format allowed them to be carried in one hand.
A term used by Postgate for haplography -- Homoioarcton plus Homoioteleuton. This usage is rare.
Homoioarcton, "same beginning," is the inverse error of the better-known (and somewhat more common) homoioteleuton. It occurs when a scribe's eye skips from one occurrence of a word, phrase, or sequence of letters to a similar sequence further down the page. An obvious example comes in Luke's genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:23-38), in which we find the sequence "του [some name]" repeated dozens of times. Small wonder that a very large number of manuscripts missed a name or two! (e.g. the apparatus of the Aland synopsis shows six different authorities, out of some forty to fifty examined, omitting at least one name. Swanson's apparatus shows the following names omitted (with the witnesses in parentheses; D E W 2 28 1071 not cited because they have substantially different genealogies; also, the major variants in 3:33 are not cited because this is a recensional change): 3:27 ιωαναν (N), ρησα (N); 3:29 ιησου/ιωση (157), μαθθατ (69), λευ(ε)ι (69 1424); 3:31 μεννα (A); 3:32 βοος/βοοζ (N*), ναασσων (157); 3:33 αμμιναδαβ (B), φαρες (A); 3:35 εβερ (N*); 3:36 ενωχ (157) ιαρεδ (157). IGNTP Luke shows at least one Greek or versional witness omitting (3:24) ματθατ, μελχι, ιαννα, ιωσηφ, (3:25) ματταθιου, αμως, (3:26) μααθ, ματταθιου, σεμει, ιωσηφ/ιωσεχ, (3:27) ιωαννα, ρησα, ζοροβαβελ, σαλαθιηλ, (3:29) ιωση, λευι, (3:30) συμεων, ιουδα, ιωσεφ, ιωναν, ελιακειμ (3:31) μελεα, μεννα/μαιναν, ματταθα, (3:32) βοοζ/βοος, ναασσων, (3:33) εσρωμ, φαρες, ιουδα, (3:34) ιακωβ, (3:35) ραγαυ, (3:36) καιναν/καιναμ, (3:37) ιαρεδ, μαλαλεηλ. So that's 34 names out of roughly 76 in the genealogy. In other words, almost half were omitted by one or another manuscript. And while a few of these omissions might be deliberate (as 3:33 was corrected to conform to either the Hebrew or the LXX), most can only be h.a. errors in an endless list of names preceded by του... του... του....
Like homoioteleuton errors, homoioarcton errors can produce nonsense, but can also be sensible (and therefore perhaps difficult to tell from other sorts of errors); the Lukan genealogy is an obvious example. Since most of the names are otherwise unknown, and very possibly invented, no one would have any way of knowing if some were added or dropped!
Homoioarcton is noted in the Nestle-Aland apparatus with the notation h.a., but observation shows that this notation is not used nearly as often as it might be (e.g. none of the omissions in Luke 3 are noted as possible homoioarcton errors). Students are therefore advised to note this possibility in examining variants.
Homoioteleuton, "same ending." Perhaps the most common of all forms of scribal error; almost all manuscripts contain at least a few instances of it. Homoioteleuton occurs when two words/phrases/lines end with the same sequence of letters. The scribe, having finished copying the first, skips to the second, omitting all intervening words. An English example of homoioteleuton might be the following trivial instance:
Original reads "Pete went to the store. When he reached the store he bought bread and milk." The scribe, skipping from the first instance of "store" to the second, would write "Pete went to the store he bought bread and milk."
Homoioteleuton errors can occur almost anywhere, and are often easily detected as they produce nonsense. There are, however, exceptions, as e.g. in 1 John 2:23, where the Majority text has skipped from τον πατερα εχει... to τον πατερα εχει, leaving a text which is incomplete but perfectly sensible.
Homoioteleuton is symbolized in the Nestle apparatus by the symbol h.t. (which indicates either that a manuscript has a homoioteleuton error or that a variant is or might be caused by homoioteleuton). Others such as Merk use a "leap" symbol, ◠, similar to a sideways parenthesis or a musical slur.
Exactly how common are h.t. errors? This is complicated. Examining the NT auf Papyrus apparatus of Philippians shows that the 17 papyri and uncials cited there display a total of 12 clear h.t. and h.a. errors. This is if anything a low rate of such errors -- and there are at least four other errors not directly attributable to h.t. which may result from skipping lines. And skipping lines can be far more common than the above statistics would indicate. Thomas C. Knott and David C. Fowler's edition of the A text of Piers Plowman includes a table of omitted lines. Their text is 2418 lines long. The manuscripts they cite have (apart from defects and long stretches omitted presumably for other reasons) a total of 606 lines omitted. That's out of an average of about fifteen manuscripts for each portion of the text. Thus, the manuscripts average out to omitting about one line in sixty. This rate is naturally higher than in the NT tradition, because these manuscripts aren't as familiar to scribes and aren't as heavily corrected and used. But it's an indication of the potential of haplographic errors.
We might add that different languages are subject to h.t. errors in different degrees. Latin, in which very many words in a sentence will end with the same combination of letters, is said to be unusually subject to h.t. errors. Greek also has many words ending in the same letters, but not quite as many, so it's a little less likely to happen. Uninflected languages, or those in which (say) adjectives and nouns inflect differently, will be less subject still. The extreme would be an ideographic language, where there are no letters to repeat. But it should be noted that this is merely a measure of the opportunity for homoioteleuton. I would not be surprised to find that a higher fraction of these "opportunities" are "converted" into errors in languages wherre repeat endings are rarer, simply because scribes will be less alert for them. If there is any research on the point, however, I am unaware of it.
Greek ομοιοτης. A term used by Clark for haplography -- Homoioarcton plus Homoioteleuton. This usage is rare.
From roots meaning "same sound," and that's just what it is: when two readings become confused because they sound the same. One of the most common examples of this, if not the most common, is confusion of ΥΜΕΙΣ and ΗΜΕΙΣ or their relatives, but the error is very common. It will naturally occur most often in copying from dictation, but it should by no means be assumed that this is always the reason -- if a scribe is copying from a written manuscript, but is sounding out words as he copies, he will be prone to homophony errors.
Horizontal Contamination
Term sometimes used in classical textual criticism for what New Testament critics tend to call "mixture," when a reading from one textual tradition is copied into another textual tradition -- i.e. when a manuscript, instead of having only one ancestor at each stage of the tradition going back to the archetype, has at some stage two ancestors.
Term sometimes used in stemmatic textual criticism for a group archetype that does not exist in any extant manuscript and so must be reconstructed, but which is more recent than the archetype of the textual tradition. (In other words, it's an archetype of something, but in the stemma it is "below" the master archetype) So, e.g., the archetype of family 1 would be a hyparchetype in the tradition of the Gospels. For another example, take, for instance, the following (proposed) stemma for Seneca's tragedies:
        [Seneca's Autograph]
       |                |
       ε                α
       |                |
  -------------     -----------
  |     |     |     |    |    |
  E     R     T     A    Ps   A1
|    |
M    N
In this instance, we have three hyparchetypes, σ, which is the ancestor of M N but of little value since it is descended from E, and the two types ε and α from which all manuscripts are descended. Observe that ε and α do not themselves survive; they must be reconstructed. But it is from them that we must reconstruct Seneca's autograph -- or, more correctly, the archetypal copy of all surviving witnesses, which may not be the autograph.
Although the above is the strict definition of a hypearchetype, some critics will be stricter about the definition, classifying ε and α as hyparchetypes but not σ (since it does not follow from a primary split in the tradition. In any case, σ is of no use to us).
Illuminated Manuscripts
In theory, an illuminated manuscript is one which brings light on the text, i.e. one which makes the meaning of the contents clearer. A New Testament manuscript which puts Old Testament quotations in red, e.g., would by this criterion count as an illuminated manuscript. This sense, however, has given way completely to the meaning "decorated manuscript." (One account, indeed, claims that they are called "illuminated" because they contained enough silver or gold to reflect light and brighten their surroundings.) An illuminated manuscript is one which, in some way or other, is more attractive than an ordinary manuscript. Such manuscripts range from the Purple Uncials (written in metallic inks on purple parchment) to manuscripts with illustrations to manuscripts such as 16 with its elaborate scheme of multicolored inks. (It might be noted that the proliferation of such extravagant manuscripts provoked the wrath of Jerome, but even his condemnation did not stop their production. And apparently they did have legitimate uses; an English saint of the eighth century once asked for a copy of one of the Catholic Epistles to be written in gold to make it look like impressive and worthy of worship -- presumably because he was dealing with a pagan audience.) Illuminated Page of Judges with chapter marking
Nor should we consider all illumination frivolous. Almost all manuscripts contain at least a minimal level of illumination, in the form of paragraph markings, with (typically) large initial letters, as in the page of Judges at right. This is a "Paris Vulgate" of the thirteenth or fourteenth century, with the first letter of each chapter illuminated using Penwork Flourishing. Initial letters are more likely to be decorated in Latin manuscripts than in Greek, but in either case, they serve a significant purpose, in that they help find section headings. These large initials have been compared to headlines in a newspaper: they make it easier to locate and decide what you are looking for. The page at right also uses red ink over letters to mark the beginning of sentences. Ancient books could hardly be indexed; the pagination would differ from copy to copy. They could have a Table of Contents, but even this would rarely have page numbers. The only way to find things was with markings in the text, and the illuminations could supply these. (To this compare another common form of illumination in modern Bibles: the printing the words of Jesus in red. This isn't very reliable, given that in some places -- notably John -- we aren't entirely sure whether Jesus or the author is doing the talking. On the other hand, I rather like it, because it can make it easier to find passages.)
It is somewhat ironic to note that it was probably cheaper to cover pages of manuscripts with gold leaf than to write them in gold ink. Gold is so malleable a metal that it is said that the amount of metal in a ducat can be pounded into more than a hundred sheets of gold leaf. Thus pages could be gold-plated relatively cheaply. (This might explain why -- amazingly to me -- we find illuminated manuscripts to which the gold has been applied but which were never finished. One of the most elaborate Bibles ever begun, the Winchester (Vulgate) codex, has drawings with the gold inlaid but to which the ink and paint were never applied.) By contrast, the golden ink used in purple manuscripts used ground gold, and it was hard to grind it very finely. So there had to be a lot of gold in the golden ink. And it still did not (from what I can tell based on manuscripts which are, to be sure, old and faded) look as bright and shiny as gold leaf.
A common form of illumination was illustrations. Very many copies of the gospels will have drawings of the four Evangelists, or of their symbols. Biblical and non-Biblical manuscripts alike may show a courtier presenting the book to a patron. Or -- they may illustrate Biblical stories. This may be historically the most important type, because these manuscripts could then be used to guide those who could not read the Bible (or, indeed, might not even know the language in which it was written). It is likely that certain missionaries will have used the pictures to clarify what they were expounding: They would read the passage and show the picture. We do not know how common this was, but considering how many "illustrated Bibles" are still being printed in a time when most people can read, it makes sense that it was common in the past also. I note that one of the manuscripts St. Augustine is thought to have taken with him to Canterbury -- Trinity College, Cambridge, MS. 1 -- has a series of illustrations which are thought to have been used to illustrate the gospel story to the non-Latin-reading Anglo-Saxons.
Manuscript illustrations are found as early as the sixth century (in both NT and LXX manuscripts), and become relatively common in the ninth century. It appears that it was not until the eleventh century that actual narrative cycles of pictures became common. Even then, it was more common in some types of books than others -- in particular, the Apocalypse attracted illustration, perhaps even more in Latin than in Greek. There are more illuminated Gospels manuscripts than Apocalypses, but the fraction of Apocalypse manuscripts that are illuminated may approach that of the Gospels.
Illumination could be especially important in commentary manuscripts, where, to begin with, text had to be distinguished from commentary, and where the sheer size of the volume often made finding a passage more difficult. It is not unusual to find text and commentary in different ink colours (usually red and black), but additional aids to finding could only help.
Incidentally, it appears that illustrated manuscripts may sometimes display a very early sort of "mass production." In certain Latin manuscripts, instead of the illustration being done directly in the codex, slips of parchment were pasted in with illustrations. This would seem to imply that an artist was drawing images in large quantities on separate parchment, which was then cut up and distributed across several manuscripts (or, at least, several pages of the same manuscript). Presumably this was easier for the illustrator than always having to work on individual manuscripts. It may also have made it possible to work somewhat more cheaply: the illustrations could be done on higher-quality vellum -- or, perhaps, on vellum that had only one side suitable for use. And, of course, it might be a way to use up scraps of vellum too small to be used for a complete book. Plus, if the illustrator did all his painting at the same time, there would be less paint lost to drying and waste (which could be important if the paint was based on a rare and expensive color like lapis lazuli or kermes).
This had two side effects. Since illustrations were created separately, they could be sold separately. It was possible for a patron who was buying a book to order particular illustrations, possibly picking them from a set of existing illustrations (although this was probably more typical of Books of Hours and service books than of Bibles). And, because illustrations were sold separately, there was a market for illustrations -- and so it was not rare to find illustrations cut out of manuscripts to be resold. Many irreplaceable texts have been damaged by this sort of vandalism.
The complexity of the illustration process is probably the main motivation, though; it might take four or even more workers to complete the illustration. First the drawing would be sketched out with a stylus. For a geometric form such as an illuminated letter, this might involve tools such as compass and straight edge. Then the lines would be inked over (since the initial markings would be difficult to see and, if drawn with a lead plummet, would not easily take paint). In manuscripts with gold foil, this would be applied third, because the foil would have to be rubbed down and burnished, and this might damage paint had it been laid down. Then the paint would be applied to finish the drawing. (The third and fourth steps could be reversed if the gold leaf was applied on gesso rather than directly to the manuscript, since the gesso raised the level of the parchment. There seems to be no data on which technique was more common.)
In some manuscripts, we actually find instructions from the original designers to those who came later. Some of these are simply what we might call "paint-by-number" instructions: the individual sections of the drawing will be marked "blue," "green," "crimson." (Such instructions of course are covered over when the painting is done -- but there are manuscripts where the painting was never finished, or where the writing is visible for other reasons). Other manuscripts contain marginal instructions, perhaps in the far margin where it might be expected they would be cut off once the manuscript is trimmed. This continued in the print era, where we often see chapter headings with space for a large illuminated initial and a small letter written set in the space to tell the illuminator which letter to draw.
It is likely that, toward the end of the manuscript era when professional copyists replaced monks as scribes, the master copyist drew the outlines and the apprentices filled them in. (Christopher de Hamel, Medieval Craftsmen: Scribes and Illuminators, p. 61, actually shows something like this, as Master Hildebertus works at his desk and young Everwinus paints a flourish while sitting on a stool.) Not all painters were mindless servants, however; the painter sometimes changed the original sketcher's plan.
Some English manuscripts, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels, hint at even more complex arrangements. The design might first be sketched out on a wax tablet. Then the page intended to be illustrated would be ruled, and holes pricked to guide the artist. (I wonder if perhaps there may not have been special templates prepared to aid in the creation of standard illustrations. But there is no evidence for this.) Then a stylus would be used to rough out the illustration, and the rest would follow.
Illuminated manuscripts had the interesting side effect of allowing the painters more luxurious clothing. At least one illustrator recommended that illuminators wear silk clothing to prevent loose threads from getting into the paint. (Of course, he also recommending not moving the head to prevent getting dandruff into the paint, and it's hard to imagine how that could be kept up for very long.)
An expert can sometimes use illuminations to date a manuscript. Painting styles varied quite a bit over time. For example, in the fourteenth century, it was common to draw walls with a sort of square pattern like a mosaic of tiles. This form does not seem to have been used before this time, and to have been rare thereafter, so it can be used as a date check.
There was also a sort of ebb and flow in manuscript illumination. We find modest numbers of paintings in manuscripts from Charlemagne's era (typical examples in this period include the Creation, Moses receiving the law, Moses teaching, Ezra copying, Jesus in majesty, and the Lamb of God opening the sealed book). Then came a pause, with few paintings except perhaps evangelist portraits, then an explosion of heavily illuminated manuscripts starting in the eleventh century and appearing in even greater numbers in the twelfth. This is not an absolutely reliable dating scheme -- there were always manuscripts both illuminated and un-illuminated -- but it's a nice hint.
Based on the similar style and form found in many illuminated manuscripts, it has been suggested that there were "model books" that illuminators used as guides for their illustrations -- that is, that they copied paintings that were already compiled for use as templates. The models were not always of full scenes but of components, such as figures of Jesus or David, making it easier to draw the figures without a live model. A few possible model books have survived, although it is thought that most have been lost. There are also model books for letter forms, such as elaborate initials; there seem to be more of these (I would guess this is because there wasn't much value in cutting them up and pasting the initials into other books). These may show multiple forms of the same elaborate letter, or they may show the outlines of a letter which might or might not be filled with color.
In considering most manuscript illuminations, there is one thing that doesn't get much attention: The large majority of them were made before the invention of oil paint. Earlier paints were almost more like modern pancake makeup than modern paints. This tended to mean that the colors were somewhat more drab (there was no way to make a glossy surface), and that colors did not mix as freely. If you see an illuminated manuscript, odds are that the style will look somewhat un-modern. It's not that the illuminators were bad artists (a few were, to be sure, but most were not). They simply were working in a different medium. For some background on the pigments they used, see the article on Chemistry.
In reading about the chemistry, it is important to keep in mind that certain colors had particular meanings. In particular, blues were associated with holiness and honor and high standing -- so the Virgin Mary was usually shown dressed in blue. Also, because artists had limited palettes, they often used clever color balancing to achieve effects. For example, in a painting that was done mostly in reds and yellows, they might use a grey or black for blue eyes -- because they knew that, on such a background, a grey would appear blue. This would save mixing an expensive color when very little of it was needed.
Manuscript illumination began very early, but the art did not reach its height until toward the end of the manuscript period. There is a tendency to dismiss these late illuminated manuscripts because the underlying text is Byzantine. It is perhaps important to note that the value of a manuscript is not necessarily solely that of its text -- once in a while, a manuscript's illuminations may include important historical or theological data.
Note also that, though it is not unknown for both a manuscript's text and its illustrations to be copied, the significance of the copies may vary. If we have both the parent and child manuscript, the child text has very little value indeed -- whatever the value of the type, it is found entirely in the parent. But the illustrations, which were prepared separately, will almost always undergo some modifications. If so, the differences between exemplar and offspring may have some interest. At least in theory. At least one attempt has been made to classify a "family" of illuminated manuscripts -- Weitzman's "Constantinopolitan Book Illumination" suggested a group of Constantinopolitan manuscripts, 16, 785, 990, 1117, 1530, and some others so poorly identified that I can't tell their Gregory numbers. But this information doesn't seem to tell us anything about the textual relations of the manuscripts.
Illustrators, like scribes, have a particular style, and just as scribes can be shown to have written multiple manuscripts, illustrators can be shown to have illuminated multiple manuscripts. Like scribes, the illustrators are usually (though not always) anonymous. Therefore it is common to refer to them by a title -- e.g. the "Bedford Master" is so called because he created the Bedford Book of Hours and other works associated with the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France in the period after the death of the conquering King Henry V in 1422. An artist responsible for a Latin copy of the Revelation and a book of sayings of philosophers is the Apocalypse Master. And so forth. Often a "Master" will be so-called because he inspires imitators (this is said to have been true of the Bedford Master; Mary Stuart's Book of Hours, compiled more than a century after the life of Bedford, is said to imitate the Bedford Master's style).
There is at least one substantial disadvantage of illuminated manuscripts (apart from the fact that they use up a lot of time and writing material). This is that the artwork often occupies the entire margin; a common pattern is to fill the page with wreathes and vines and flowers. These are often very beautiful -- but they leave no room to write in corrections!
A peculiar class of evidence not normally mentioned in the critical manuals, but perhaps of some significance particularly for the more obscure versions.
An imitation is a written work deliberately done in the style of an earlier work. A typical example in English is the "Thou shalt not" stricture: The King James Bible uses this formulation for the Ten Commandments, so moderns may say anything from "Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican" to "Thou shalt not be the first to start a war." These are, of course, trivial examples, but the King James Bible has inspired many non-trivial examples, e.g. the Book of Mormon, which is in a pseudo-Biblical English which is in fact neither Jacobean nor English; similarly, Spenser's Fairie Queen is intended to imitate Chaucer but -- because Chaucerian English was long dead -- instead imitates gobbledigook.
Another example may be familiar to some English readers: Lancelot C. L. Brenton's translation of the Septuagint. This is a more modern equivalent of the Spenser/Chaucer situation: Brenton's translation is in pseudo-King James English, much influenced by the KJV. If one has the Hebrew, the Greek, and Brenton, one can at times retrovert to the KJV text. Brenton's translation is in fact less competent than it could be (as well as irritating to read) because it's so much a KJV imitation.
An imitation is not quite the same as an allusion, though the resemblance is obvious; Spenser, e.g., had spent so much effort reading Chaucer that he took on some of his speech patterns without actually understanding Chaucerian grammar. Extremely careful and cautious use of such references might enable us to occasionally see a hint as to how a damaged passage evolved.
Such a method is probably not needed for the Greek New Testament; the materials available to us so extensive that we need not bother with such things. But I can imagine it coming up with regard to one of the more obscure versions, such as the Gothic or the Palestinian Syriac or perhaps even the Sahidic Coptic.
Nor should we entirely ignore the influence of imitations, or even proper allusions. There were certainly instances where an allusion would be better known than the original text. An example would be the Gospels in the Latin West, after Latin had ceased to be the vernacular. Translations were prohibited -- but paraphrases were not. So, for instance, the story of the gospels was known from works such as the Mystery Plays and from collections such as the Northern Homily Cycle -- the latter a sort of lectionary plus sermon in poetry. There are twenty known copies (16 of a basic form and four with diverse expansions). Each starts with an English paraphrase of the gospel story, then a discussion. This would be what the parish preacher knew. If by some chance he came to copy a Vulgate text, the metrical paraphrase might influence what he copied. This is a minor issue in Vulgate criticism, and an even smaller one in Greek NT criticism (I do not know of any case where the Greek text has been affected by such a situation), but it is a reminder that we should be aware of many sorts of influences upon the text.
Originally referred to the outside marking on a scroll. In a codex, it refers to the beginning of a particular book, e.g. the beginning of a gospel in a gospel codex.
Independent Descent
Two manuscript which derive from their common source by different paths are said to have "independent descent." Take, for instance, the stemma of Seneca tragedies discussed under hyparchetypes:
        [Seneca's Autograph]
       |                |
       ε                α
       |                |
  -------------     -----------
  |     |     |     |    |    |
  E     R     T     A    Ps   A1
|    |
M    N
So E and A come from the autograph by independent descent; M and N do not -- they followed almost exactly the same path.
Inferential Link or Manuscript
As the name implies, a manuscript which does not exist (or which has not been discovered) but which can be inferred to have existed at one time. Typically an inferential link is made when one manuscript is clearly descended from another but has equally clearly been modified somewhat in transmission. This implies that there is at least one manuscript between them, so we refer to this manuscript as an inferential manuscript. Compare potential.
Defined as something in between two other things. In textual criticism, it generally refers to a manuscript which is a descendant of one manuscript, an ancestor of another. Demonstrable examples of this phenomenon are rare (there are likely some among the Kr manuscripts, but this has not been tested). One possible example is the case of 205, 205abs, and 209. 205abs is, of course, copied from 205, and 205 is thought by many to be descended (at more removes) from 209. So the stemma of these manuscripts may be

If this stemma is correct, then 205 is intermediary between 209 and 205abs.
An intermediary could also stand, e.g., between versions. The Anglo-Saxon, for instance, is translated from the Vulgate, and the Vulgate from the Greek. Thus the Vulgate is in intermediary between the Greek and the Anglo-Saxon. If the Georgian is translated from the Armenian and the Armenian from the Greek or the Syriac, then the Armenian is an intermediary between the Georgian and the Greek and perhaps the Georgian and the Syriac.
Internal Evidence
Evidence based on the logic of readings (as opposed to external evidence, which is based on the readings of manuscripts). Also called "transcriptional probability" or the like. It is based on determining which reading most likely gave rise to the others -- e.g. which reading a scribe would be more likely to change by accident or on purpose; which reading the original author is most likely to have written. For further details see Internal Critical Rules under Canons of Criticism.
Jerusalem Colophon
A colophon found in a number of manuscripts, including Λ/039, 20, 164, 215, 262, 300, 376, 428, 565, 686, 718, 1071, etc. (though some manuscripts apply it only to particular books, and others to all four gospels). The colophon states that the manuscript involved was "copied and corrected from the ancient exemplars from Jerusalem preserved on the holy mountain" (i.e. probably Athos). It should be noted, however, that this colophon does not guarantee anything about the texts of the manuscripts; they are not necessarily related textually (though a surprising number belong to Group Λ: Λ, 164, 262, and perhaps some of the many Wisse does not classify). Presumably the colophon was copied down from document to document independently of the text.
Plural lacunae. From Latin lacuna, gap, pool, cavern. With reference to manuscripts, it means to be defective for a portion of the text (usually short). Notice that a lacuna always refers to a portion of a manuscript which has been lost (due to the disappearance of leaves or the effects of water or trimming or whatever); it should not be used to refer to a section of the text which never was found in a manuscript.
The adjective lacunose may refer to a manuscript with many lacunae.
The Leiden System of Transcription
A system for transcribing defective texts, intended to indicate degrees of uncertainty and reconstruction. It uses several symbols, some of which may be more familiar than others:
[ ] indicates material lacking in a manuscript due to a defect. So a papyrus of John 1:1 that had the words "In" and "was the Word" but lacked "the beginning"would be printed
εν [αρχη] ην ο λογος
Note the somewhat unfortunate difference from the use of square brackets in the usual critical apparatus, where [ ] indicates a reading that the editor considers dubious but is not willing to omit entirely.
( ) indicates an expanded abbreviation. So, to continue with John 1:1, the papyrus και θ̅ς̅ ῆ ο λογος (i.e. with θεος shown as a nominum sacrum and ην recorded with a suspension) would be recorded as
και θ(εο)ς η(ν) ο λογος
< > is the sign of an editorial insertion. So if some editor thought the Greek of John 1:1 was wrong, and required an article before αρχη, he might give the first words as
εν <η> αρχη ην ο λογος
〚 〛 (or [[ ]]) will be familiar to users of the Westcott/Hort or UBS editions; it indicates a text that is considered to be an interpolation into the original text, as Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11 are considered interpolations in the New Testament text.
` ´ indicates an insertion into the text. Of course, this can often be indicated by a superscript, but the ` ´ pair makes it clear that it is a correction. So suppose that some crazy corrector had taken it into his head that the last clause of John 1:1 was supposed to read και κυριος θεος ην ο λογος, adding that to the existing text which of course read και κυριος θεος ην ο λογος. We could indicate this as
και κυριος θεος ην ο λογος, but instead in the Leiden system we would write
και `κυριος´ θεος ην ο λογος
[...] or [-n-]. The use of square brackets [ ] indicates a lacuna, but by themselves they do not indicate the size of a lacuna. An editor can indicate the approximate length by placing periods inside the brackets. So [.] indicates a lacuna of (apparently) one letter; [....] indicates a gap of about four letters. For longer lacunae, an editor may choose to supply a number of letters, e.g. [-8-] or [±8] indicates a lacuna of eight letters.
[ạạạạ]. Dots below a letter indicate a letter which can be read with some probability but not with certainty -- so ạ represents a probable but not certain instance of "a."
Ultimately from Greek λαμβανω, hence "(something) received." The closest common equivalent is probably a "proposition" or perhaps "suggestion, statement." This is the sense in which the term is used in mathematics: A subsidiary proposition, of no great importance in itself, which is used to prove a more important theorem.
In textual criticism, "lemma" usually is used to describe the text of a running commentary or commentary manuscript. So, for example, we might cite Origenlem and Origencomm, with the lemma being the reading found in the biblical text of the manuscript and the commentary being found in the margin.
Since the biblical text seems more liable to correction than the commentary, the value of a lemma is usually less than the reading(s) in the margin. Thus certain editions will only cite a lemma where the commentary is missing or unclear.
A term rarely encountered in New Testament textual criticism (in fact, I've never seen it in a manual of NT TC), but occasionally found in classical manuals. It is simply another word for haplography -- in other words, the omission of a section of text. It may refer specifically to the omission of an entire line.
Local-Genealogical Method
The method of criticism advocated by Kurt and Barbara Aland, which they describe as "applying to each passage individually the approach used by classical philology for the whole tradition" (Aland & Aland, The Text of the New Testament, p. 34). On page 291 they explain this: "[Arranging the variants in each passage] in a stemma... reflecting the lines of development among the readings, demonstrating which reading must be original because it best explains the rise of the other readings." Thus the "local-genealogical method" is really just another way of saying "that reading is best which best explains the others."
I was amazed to find Gerd Mink refer to this as a form of "reasoned eclecticism." As described, it is not, since every variant is resolved on the basis of internal criteria. Thus a text constructed solely by taking the local stemma of each variant (if that were possible, which it frankly is not) would be a radically eclectic tradition.
However, we can also say that the Alands, in their work on the United Bible Societies Edition, do not appear to have followed this method, as the UBS text is overwhelmingly Alexandrian. A text proceeding purely from local-genealogical work would without doubt be more eclectic. This leads to the suspicion that the Alands have not correctly described their method (or were not honest with themselves about it), which instead consists of using "local genealogy" as assisted by the history of the text (so, e.g., a reading found only in a late text-type cannot be earlier than one found in an early text-type, no matter how original it may appear on internal grounds). This is, in the author's opinion, the best and most proper form of criticism -- but it requires a truly accurate history of the text, something which the Alands (on the evidence) had not achieved -- or at least had not enunciated in a way usable by other scholars. Which, if one wishes to follow the rules of scientific work, is the same thing.
It should be added that the idea of local genealogy is sort of the entrance point for the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method, which tries to use the results of local stemma to determine manuscript "coherence"
In that context, we should probably mention an important point discovered in work on genes and gene selection (which also uses a form of local genealogy): that local genealogy will not always correspond to manuscript genealogy, especially if a large number of manuscripts are in circulation and the splits into families and text-types happened relatively quickly (as seems to have been the case with the New Testament, since most text-types seem to have arisen early). If you look at a set of individual variants and their local genealogies, and compare that to the relationships of the various manuscript families, they will often coincide, but there will be cases where the local genealogy disagrees with the manuscript stemma. It is only when you examine a large number of local genealogies that you can use parsimony to try to determine the manuscript stemma. Which, again, the CBGM attempts, but not in a mathematically, er, coherent way.
Local Texts
A term popularized by B. H. Streeter. A "local text" is the style of text typically found in a particular area -- as the Alexandrian text is considered to have been found in Alexandria and the "Cæsarean" text in Cæsarea. As these texts evolved largely in isolation (a manuscript on, say, Mount Athos might be compared with other manuscripts at Athos, but rarely with manuscripts from other places), each local text would tend to develop peculiar readings, and peculiar patterns of readings. (This resembles the concept of genetic drift known in biology.) Streeter, for instance, thought he might have evidence of five local texts: The Alexandrian, (found in B ℵ C L 33 Sahidic Bohairic etc.), the Cæsarean (Θ family 1 family 13 28 565 700 Armenian Georgian), the Antiochian (Old Syriac), the Italian or Gaulish (D a b), and the African (WMark k e) (see The Four Gospels, p. 26, etc.).
Direct evidence for the theory of local texts is largely lacking; except for the Egyptian papyri, we generally cannot correlate texts with the place of origin of manuscripts. There is some evidence of local texts on a lower level; we tend to find, e.g., that if a particular scribe copies several manuscripts, they tend to be of a single type. (Consider the work of Theodore of Hagiopetros, who is almost single-handedly responsible for Wisse's Kx Cluster 74, or George Hermonymos, who gave us manuscripts of Kx Cluster 17). There is also evidence from non-Biblical manuscripts; in works such as Piers Plowman, we find significant correlation between the place a manuscript was copied and the text it contains. (The vast majority of manuscripts of the "C" recension are found in the general area of Gloucester and the southwest; the "B" recension is common around London; the "A" recension is scattered but has several representatives near Cambridge.)
With the discovery of the papyri and the realization that not all manuscripts from Egypt have Alexandrian texts, the theory of local texts has lost some of its favour. We also find that not all the texts at large ancient repositories (Athos, Sinai) are of the same type. The truth is, however, that even in Egypt a single text (the Alexandrian) is dominant. So even though there are non-Alexandrian manuscripts from Egypt, there does seem to be a local text; it's just that there are a few local manuscripts that don't belong to the type. At the very least, we could expect local texts to flourish in isolated areas, and also to find particular sorts of texts associated with particular localities. There was much commerce in the ancient world, and so not all manuscripts in an area will automatically have the local text. This does not invalidate the theory; it merely means that we must investigate manuscripts to see if they belong with their local type.
Still, caution must be used in assessing the value of local texts. If two local texts are indeed independent, then their common readings do have extra value. But the texts must indeed be independent! If, as some have charged, the "Cæsarean" and/or Byzantine texts are the result of editorial conflation of the Alexandrian and "Western" texts, they have no value as diverse witnesses. In addition, we must be alert to the possibility that one local text is derived from another. If, e.g., the texts at Athos are ultimately derived from Constantinople (a real possibility), then the local text of Athos has no independent significance.
A term from parchment-making. It is a round-edged knife, shaped like a partial moon (hence the name), used for scraping parchment. The curved blade of the knife is required to assure even pressure on the parchment as it is scraped; a straight-edged knife is almost certain to cut into the parchment.
Plural maniculae. Latin for "little hand." Used for a symbol that looked like a hand (so something like ☚ [in the right margin] or ☞ [in the left margin]), placed in the margin and used to point out salient matters in the text. The purpose is similar to the nota.
Often maniculae consisted of more than hands. There might be a body connected -- not necessarily human. E.g. I've seen one where the hand appeared to come out of the neck of a chicken (the description said it was a dragon body with a human head, but I really think it looked like a chicken).
Sometimes, instead of a hand, the illustrator would draw a human head looking at the interesting topic.
From Greek words meaning "changing places," so, in effect, putting out of order. The accidental reversal of two parts of a word. Sometimes it may be a simple reversal, e.g. ORE for ROE (exchanging O and R), but the letters need not be adjacent; changing EAT to ATE is also considered a metathesis. An infamous English-language example is "cavalry" for "Calvary." Sometimes, too, sounds may be confused in the process -- a famous example, which for some reason seems to happen quite often, is that children say "pasketti" for "spaghetti." In some languages -- including, to some extent, Hebrew -- metathesis can be a means of altering meaning.
It has been said that metathesis is more common in proper names. I know of no definitive studies on this point, but I suspect that anyone who has worked through a critical apparatus of proper names in LXX will agree -- they are usually hideously mangled, and metathesis is certainly common.
A technical term for a short vertical stroke, as in a lower case iota (ι), but also used to refer to the strokes in letters such as Latin m and n, as well as i and u. Minima are often joined together in script hands, or not joined at all, which can make it hard to tell, say, m from nn. The problem was worse in Latin than in Greek. An extreme case is the word "minimum", which in an extreme hand would become a sequence of fifteen straight minims, along the lines of 𝖑𝖑𝖑𝖑𝖑𝖑𝖑𝖑𝖑𝖑𝖑𝖑. (Note that the i's are not dotted!). Their study can be important in paleography. In late Middle English, for instance, the problem of unclear minims actually resulted in spelling changes, so that i was written y to avoid the use of an ambiguous minim, and the vowel form of u/v was sometimes written as o. This has permanently affected spellings, as when LUVE (𝔏𝖑𝖑𝖑𝖑𝔈, which could also be read, e.g., as LIME or LUNE) became LOVE (𝔏𝕺𝖑𝖑𝔈) and SUN (𝕾𝖑𝖑𝖑𝖑, which could also be read, say, SIM or SINI or SNU) became SON (𝕾𝕺𝖑𝖑) to avoid excessively long runs of minims.
A list of the dead, normally in a monastic writing. It is often a list of the dead members of the community, although it may include others for whom the community has agreed to pray. The list will generally include the date of the deaths, in order by calendar day, but without the year. (Presumably this makes it easier to manage commemorations on the anniversary of the person's death.) This information has no direct textual use, but can occasionally be helpful in determining the origin or date of a manuscript.
Less a term for manuscripts than for editions, normalization refers to the process of conforming a printed text's orthography to some standard. Thus, for instance, the Nestle-Aland editions supply texts with full accents, breathings, and punctuation, even though the uncials on which they are primarily based lack all three. A good normalized edition will state the authority it uses as a basis for whatever additions and standardizations it makes, though this seems to be observed much more in non-Biblical works than in Biblical.
There are degrees of standardization. Perhaps the most extreme is modernization, where a text is not only conformed to a standard but to a modern standard. Normalization, if not qualified, will generally mean conforming to an authority, but an authority with some relevance to the period (e.g. a text of Chaucer might conform to the spellings used in Sisam and Tolkien's Middle English Dictionary). A third technique is regularization, which will generally try to make the text easier to read but without putting it in a straitjacket. To take Middle English as an example, an edition of Chaucer might regularize Chaucer's use of i/y (interchangeable in Middle English, so "thys" and "this" were the same word), but not his use of terminal -e (since a terminal -e, in Middle English, might or might not be sounded, so "rose" might in one context rhyme with, or scan the same way as, "goes," while in another context it would parallel "Mose(s)." It would also convert þ and ð to th, and do... something... with ȝ.
I would consider the Nestle-Aland edition to be normalized (though it does not state its authority). Westcott-Hort would probably be considered regularized. I know of no New Testament editions that have been modernized.
A marginal notation, meaning just what it sounds like: "Take note!" The significance to the textual critic is mostly that they became stylized -- instead of writing "NOTA," the scribe might use some stylized form, perhaps just shuffling the letters (ATON or OTNA or whatever) but often doing something quite elaborate:
A  or  O
 or  NOT
 or  NO
 or  NT
 or  N
 or  ONT  or NO

This can be quite useful in identifying scribes.
ο η
Properly written
υ  ν
ο η
Short for οὕτως ἦν -- literally thus it is, so thus it stands. In a carefully written manuscript, a scribe might question a reading in his exemplar. The corrector might check another manuscript, and then write
υ ν
ο η
to say that the peculiar reading was indeed correct. It is somewhat equivalent to modern sic, except that sic is used for quotations, while this usage is used for checking an original.
Sometimes abbreviated 8o or 8mo. A term from printing, in which a large printed sheet was folded three times (as opposed to once for a folio or twice for a quarto) to form eight leaves or sixteen pages. Usually an octavo would be the size and shape of a normal sheet (typically, given the paper sizes of the time, about 140 mm. tall by 95 wide), but there were also "oblong octavos" where the width of the page was much greater than the height. These were often used, e.g., for musical staff printing, where it was helpful to fit many measures on a single line.
A term for the scraps of parchment left over when a large skin was cut down to the desired size for a particular sheet. Offcuts were small and often of an irregular shape (e.g. at least one edge would curve -- skins had irregular edges, and the offcuts were what was left when regular-sized pieces were cut from the skin). It is rare to see a whole volume -- particularly a Biblical volume -- made up of offcuts, but there are occasional small volumes made up of leftover skins. More usually, however, an offcut would be used to repair a page or for brief notes or memos. A typical use was schedulæ -- class notes, bookmarks, ephemeral information. Since they were generally used for some short-term use, relatively few examples survive of what, logically, ought to have been an extremely common form of writing.
Note that offcuts are a product only of parchment-making; while there are of course small pieces of papyrus and paper, the latter two were manufactured to the desired size from the start.
Old Testament Quotations
Many modern editions of the New Testament highlight Old Testament quotations in some way (typically by the use of boldface or italics). This is not a new idea; we find Old Testament quotations marked from a very early date. Typically such passages are marked with the symbol > in the margin; we see this, e.g., in Codex Vaticanus.
As far at the quotations itself are concerned, it should be kept in mind that most scribes knew them in their own language. Thus copies of the Greek Bible tended to use the Septuagint text, and scribes would tend to conform passages to the Septuagint if by some chance they differed. This phenomenon doubtless occured also in the other versions (e.g. a Vulgate quotation might be assimilated to the Vulgate Old Testament), though this is not normally a matter of great concern for textual critics.
The name means "back-writing," and is descriptive. An opisthograph is a writing written on the back of another writing. (For obvious reasons, opisthographs are written on the back of scrolls, not codices.) It was not a popular form for books; the back side of a scroll was not particularly easy to use -- opisthographs were generally written on the back side of papyrus scrolls, and the back side of a papyrus scroll was inconvenient in two ways. First, the writing went against the grain of the papyrus fibers, and second, the scroll will almost certainly want to roll up the wrong way. Thus opisthographs tend to be used only for poor productions. The only important opisthograph in the catalog of NT manuscripts is 𝔓13. The noteworthy LXX manuscript 2013 is also an opisthograph. And 𝔓18 is interesting because it is an opisthograph with Bible texts on both sides: Exodus 11:36-32 on one side (probably a Christian copy, since it uses the Nomina Sacra), Revelation 1:4-7 on the other. Their rarity should not be understood to mean that opisthograph have no historical significance at all, however. Aristotle's On the Constitution of Athens, long thought lost, was rediscovered in the nineteenth century, as an opisthograph -- with the writing on the front side being simply a farm steward's accounts. And there are comments by Juvenal and Pliny to the effect that authors often preserved copies of their own writings on opisthographs, or perhaps that they composed on the back of an already-written scroll, to save the good papyrus for fair copies. (Authors were no more likely to be rich in Roman times than today, after all.)
There is another variation on this, found in one of the Chester Beatty papyri, in which two papyrus scrolls, both written on one side, had their written sides pasted together, producing a codex of very thick papyrus which, in a way, had two verso sides and no recto! This was probably prepared shortly after 300 C.E., based on the dates of the pasted-together scrolls.
A word I've never seen used in any manual on textual criticism (perhaps because no New Testament manuscripts use the format), but nonetheless an important intermediate step between the scroll and the codex. It addressed one of the primary difficulties of the scroll (difficulty of getting to a particular passage) -- while avoiding a key problem of the single-quire codex (difficulty of estimating the number of pages needed) as well as the problem of writing on the bad side of the papyrus.
An orihon was essentially an ordinary scroll folded as a codex. That is, a papyrus scroll was prepared, written in columns in the ordinary manner. Once finished, however, it was not rolled but folded in a concertina fold, with one or two columns per fold. That is, if we started with a scroll looking like this (where each symbol _ represents a column of print), the process would look like this:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ <-- initial flat layout
/\/\/\/\ <-- partially folded
|| || || || <-- fully folded
_\/_ <-- after end is bound
Thus you ended up with something which, to all intents and purposes, was an ordinary book, openable to any page. In some cases, the backs of the inner folds were pasted together and the whole inner margin bound with thongs to make it even more book-line. In terms of reader convenience, the orihon came close to being the equal of the codex (its only drawback was that it was rather bulkier). But, of course, it required more material than a codex. And it wasn't a particularly suitable form for vellum books.
There were other advantages to the form. Gluing the pages together was not an absolute necessity, and if this step was not taken, it meant that the orihon could be flattened. This form of orihon was also known as an "accordion book," after the musical instrument with folds that expanded and contracted like an orihon that was being flattened out. This produced, in effect, a scroll -- but one which did not have to be unrolled and rerolled to find a particular passage. It was much more convenient for finding pasages. And, folded, it was typically smaller than a scroll and less subject to damage. If one were forced to use a cheap paper which could be written on only one side, an orihon was a very useful form.
I don't know of any surviving Biblical orihon, but it is possible that one of the handful of surviving papyrus fragments we regard as being from scrolls might in fact be from an orihon. (I have this strange, completely unscientific feeling that 𝔓12 is such. But I have absolutely no evidence for that proposition.)
Palimpsest of Cicero, Century IV/V From Greek roots meaning "again-scraped." A palimpsest was a manuscript which was re-used. Presumably the original writing was no longer valued and/or easily read, and a scribe decided that the expensive parchment could be better used for something else
Note the reference to "parchment." Some of our early references seem to imply that papyri were re-scraped, but palimpsest papyri are almost unknown. We aren't even sure how the handful of surviving papyri were cleaned up (my guess is that the ink just faded, so they were re-written without ever having actually been washed, except perhaps for some rubbing). To be sure, if someone did re-wash a papyrus, it probably would go to pieces quickly, so any examples that did exist would not survive. But chances are that papyrus was not often re-used.
Whatever the reason, almost all palimpsest are parchment. In most instances the parchment would be washed and/or scraped and resurfaced, then overwritten, although there are instances of manuscripts which were overwritten without being cleaned. (As inks evolved, they became harder to erase, so some documents reportedly were actually written between the lines of the old manuscripts -- quite possible, given the size difference between literary uncials and late minuscules.) The most thorough method of cleansing is said to be scraping (with a knife or pumice), followed by soaking with cheese, milk, and lime.
The under-writing of palimpsests is, of course, often difficult to read, although modern tools such as ultraviolet photography help somewhat, particularly when two different formulations of ink have been used which produce different degrees of flourescence. (Earlier chemical reagents often damaged manuscripts without doing much to improve their legibility.) But almost all palimpsests are illegible at certain points (and, ironically, the remnants of the under-writing can sometimes make the upper writing equally unreadable).
Among the more important New Testament palimpsests are C (sometimes listed as the first palimpsest "discovered"), Pe, Papr, Q, and 048 (the latter a double palimpsest -- it was overwritten twice). It should be noted that none of these documents is intact (Papr is about 90% complete, which is about as high a fraction as one can reasonably expect); since the erased leaves were simply raw material, they would end up being used out of order, and some leaves would generally be used for other purposes.
Classical palimpsests are, if anything, even more common, since Christians had a tendency to erase these works to use for religious writings. I know of no comprehensive catalog, but just for comparison, Harold W. Johnston at the end of the nineteenth century listed all classical Latin documents of the sixth century and earlier. He counted 24 such documents -- and 14 of them palimpsests. The illustration above right is typical of the form: The image is of (Johnston's facsimile of) Codex Palimpsestus Vaticanus 5757, the Schedae Vaticanae. The under-writing is a fourth or fifth century Latin uncial copy of Cicero's De Re Publica (I.xvii.26), once at Bobbio, now in the Vatican; the upper writing is of the eighth century. Note how clearly visible both still are. Palimpsest Z, Trinity College, Sixth Century
This sort of vandalism is particularly regrettable when we have no intact copies of a particular work (though it might be argued that the documents might not have survived at all were it not for the palimpsests); much of the work of Archimedes, e.g., survives only in a single tenth century manuscript that was over-written for church use in the thirteenth century.
We might also note, in passing, that palimpsests often were not neatly rewritten one atop the other. It was quite typical to see the parchment -- which would be much worn at the seam where the quire was folded -- cut in half, and then re-folded. This would usually cause the upper writing to be at right angles to the lower. This is the case, e.g. with Codex Z, shown at right in exaggerated colour. This was by no means accidental -- it is thought that this was a deliberate response to the problem of the under-writing showing through. If the under-writing ran in the same direction as the upper writing, the two might easily be confused. By cutting down the folios, it was possible to have the upper writing at right angles to the lower, making it much harder to mistake something in the under-writing for part of the content of the upper writing.
A final note: Although in textual criticism a palimpsest is a rewritten manuscript, it can also refer to a redrawn piece of art -- even a wall painting that has been plastered over and repainted with something new. It is highly unlikely that a textual critic will ever have to deal with such a drawing, but it is good to be aware that an artist might use the word "palimpsest" in a different way.
A complete Bible, that is, one containing all the books of the Old and New Testaments -- as opposed to the usual Gospel books, or copies of Acts and Letters, or the Prophets. ℵ, A, B, and C are (or originally were) pandects; so are such Vulgate manuscripts as Amiatinus. Note that a Pandect need not be bound in a single volume; many would be spread across multiple books, and some Pandects may in fact have been split up (e.g. it has been speculated that Δ of the Gospels and G of Paul were once part of a larger single book).
From Greek meaning "looking aside," i.e., not paying attention. This can result in all sorts of errors, but is probably most associated with haplography, simply because the most common result of a literal look aside it to lose one's place in a manuscript.
A predecessor, of sorts, to the modern paragraph marker ¶, found mostly in texts written after 1100. A typical paraph mark looked like a C with an extended horizontal stroke and a partial vertical fill, something like Ͼ, 𐩓, ₢, ⋹, 𝕮; an alternate form was something like ❧. In university texts it would mark the beginning and end of a text that would be used in a class discussion, rather like a lectionary mark in a continuous-text Bible.
Pars Alba
From Latin, meaning the white side (or perhaps we should say the lighter side) of a sheet of parchment -- the flesh side, by contrast to the pars negra.
Pars Negra
From Latin, meaning the black side (or perhaps we should say the darker side) of a sheet of parchment -- the hair side, by contrast to the pars alba.
A mathematical term for a method of deciding between options. In essence, it says, "the simplest explanation is best." So if you have two manuscript stemma, both of which explain the manuscript data but one of which involves a much more complicated descent, the simpler stemma is to be preferred as more parsimonius. To take a concrete historical example, if your two possible hypotheses are:
1. The original text divided into two textual streams, which became the Alexandrian and "Western" texts, which were then combined to form the Byzantine text,
2. The original text is the Byzantine text, which managed to disappear for four centuries while corrupt descendants became the Alexandrian and "Western" texts, which then gradually faded out as the Byzantine text came out of disguise and produced a whole bunch of late manuscripts as the Alexandrian and "Western" texts faded away.
Parsimony suggests that explanation 1 is more nearly correct, because it is much simpler (at least in terms of the number of words it takes to express it, but this could be expressed mathematically also).
Parsimony cannot prove which explanation is correct, but it has been found to be immensely helpful in analyzing scientific date; the concept that simpler is better (which is of course the basis of Occam's Razor) deserves to be respected in textual criticism as well as science.
Term for a leaf of a codex which is pasted to the cover of the volume. Typically it was part of a bifolium, with one page pasted or sewn to the cover and the other used as a flyleaf. Although this bifolium might be blank, it was not rare that this bifolium would be taken from an already-written book and be covered with text. And even if it were blank, later book owners might well write on it extensively, so pastedowns were sometimes quite informative. Illuminated Page of Judges with chapter marking
Penwork Flourishing
One of the most basic forms of manuscript illuminated manuscript, it consists of drawings in ink (rather than painting), hence the description "penwork." It came into use in the twelfth century, and was very common in the Paris Vulgates of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The sample at right is typical of penwork flourishing: A large initial surrounded by curlicues in blue and red ink. Blue and red are much the most common inks.
Perfect (in printing)
To print the second side of a sheet when the two sides are not printed simultaneously. As printing advanced, it became normal to print both sides at the same time, so perfecting happened primarily in the earliest era of printing.
A term from manuscript preparation, particularly of parchment. When parchment was prepared for writing, it had to have lines ruled on it to guide the scribe. The normal method was to prick holes in the parchment and then draw lines between the holes ("ruling"). Until roughly the early twelfth century the typical means of ruling was dry point. Starting from the twelfth century, it became more common to use soft lead (plumbum) to mark the parchment; this was called a "plummet," and it left a faint but visible mark on the parchment. Eventually, ink was also used to rule lines.
Polyglot Bibles
A polyglot is, of course, a book in multiple languages. A polyglot New Testament is a New Testament in multiple languages -- usually Greek and one other, though the Catholic Church often produced polyglots with a Latin vulgate text and a vernacular translation. Curiously, it is unusual to see bilingual manuscripts such as Codex Bezae called polyglots; the term is usually reserved for printed editions.
Although they are technically polyglots, scholars almost universally ignore such things as Latin/English versions. The interesting polyglots -- the books we tend to mean when referring to a polyglot -- are the Bibles which print a Greek New Testament in parallel with at least one other ancient version.
The most famous of these is, of course, the very first printed Greek New Testament, the Complutensian Polyglot.
Because the Complutensian Polyglot was rather a flop, and had an uninteresting text anyway, moderns tend to ignore the other early polyglots. Certainly they had little direct textual interest. They did, however, have great historical interest -- because the editing of such volumes forced the compilers to actually compare the Greek text with the ancient versions. It is often said that it was the arrival of the Codex Alexandrinus in England which sparked the first real study of the text. This is at best partially true; it was the compiling of the polyglots which kept textual criticism alive in the first century and a half after the first books were printed.
There were quite a few noteworthy polyglots after the Complutensian (which included only Greek and Latin in the New Testament, and Greek, Latin, and Hebrew in the Old). Indeed, though it doesn't get much attention, Erasmus's first Textus Receptus had a Latin as well as a Greek text.
Plantin's Antwerp (or Royal Spanish) Polyglot of 1571-1573 (published 1580) featured a Syriac text, though it was printed in unpointed Hebrew letters due to lack of a Syriac font (Scrivener, Plain Introduction volume 2, p. 9, though Kenyon says the first Syriac printing was in the Paris polyglot, and was made "on the basis of a very inferior manuscript." This may, to be sure, be a reference to the Old Testament only). Interestingly, Scrivener, p. 181, says that Plantin's Greek text seems to have been based on the Complutensian Polyglot, not the Textus Receptus. This makes it almost unique among early Greek editions. (Could the fact that it was begun under Spanish patronage be significant?)
The Paris Polyglot of 1629-1645, edited in ten volumes by de Jay, was among the first printed editions of the Peshitta Syriac in actual Syriac type, and the first to make that version widely available in the west. It also contained the first printed Syriac editions of the books not included in the Peshitta. The two volumes containing this Syriac text were apparently printed in 1630 and 1633 (Metzger-Early Versions, p. 54). It also included an Arabic version -- not the first in print, but one independent of all earlier Arabic versions, according to the sources cited in Scrivener, p. 163. Students of the Old Testament will be interested to note that it also seems to have been the first printed edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch.
The London Polyglot of 1654-1657, edited by Brian Walton, had a Syriac text which was rather a corrupted version of the preceding, with passages such as the Pericope de adultera added. Walton's polyglot also made the century-old Rome text of the Ethiopic version more widely available (Metzger-Text, p. 84), and even included a Persian version of the gospels and some Old Latin fragments. Perhaps of greatest significance for critics, it featured a much-expanded critical apparatus, including for the first time the readings of the Codex Alexandrinus. Although earlier editions had recorded some variants, Metzger-Text, p. 106, calls this the "first systematic collection of variant readings."
The Adams revision of Kenyon's Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts prints reproductions of two facing pages of Exodus in the London Polyglot. I find myself thinking this may have been the most complicated instance of typesetting attempted in the day of hand-set type. It will tell you how complicated the whole thing is that it takes 310 pages just to get to chapter 20 of Exodus! Each pair of facing pages has twelve different sections of type. In the upper left corner of the left-hand page we have the Hebrew, with a Latin interlinear. To its immediate right, in a very narrow column, is the Vulgate. To its right is the LXX text; to the right of that, on the inner margin, is a literal Latin translation of the LXX. At the bottom of the page is the Syriac text, with Latin translation. On the right-hand page, we find the Targum of Onkelos in the left inner margin, with a Latin translation to its right. The third column at the top of the page is the Samaritan Pentateuch, with Latin translation; at the bottom of the page is an Arabic version, with Latin translation. The sketch below gives a general idea of the page layout:
  +---------------+-------+----------+------+        +----------+-------+---------------+-------+
  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |
  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |
  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |
  |               |       |          |      |        |  TARGUM  | Latin |   SAMARITAN   | Latin |
  |   HEBREW      |VULGATE|  LXX     |Latin |        |    of    | trans |               | trans |
  |     with      |       |          | trans|        | Onkelos  |   of  |               |  of   |
  |   interlinear |       |          |  of  |        |          |Targum |               | Samar |
  |    Latin      |       |          | LXX  |        |          |       |               |       |
  |  translation  |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |
  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |
  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |
  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |
  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |
  |               |       |          |      |        |          |       |               |       |
  +---------------+-------+----+-----+------+        +----------+-------+---------+-----+-------+
  |                            |            |        |                            |             |
  |                            |            |        |                            |             |
  |    SYRIAC                  | Latin      |        |     ARABIC                 | Latin       |
  |                            |  trans of  |        |                            |  trans of   |
  |                            |   Syriac   |        |                            |    Arabic   |
  |                            |            |        |                            |             |
  |                            |            |        |                            |             |
  +----------------------------+------------+        +----------------------------+-------------+
Potential Link or Manuscript
A rare and somewhat confusing term for a manuscript in a stemma which is no longer extant. Such missing manuscripts are often called inferential, but a potential manuscript is a more specific description: It refers to a manuscript about which something can be known other than the fact that there was such a text. For example, if an extant manuscript were found to regularly miss sections of text totalling (say) 25 to 27 letters, we could confidently say that there is in its ancestry a potential manuscript with a line length of about 26 letters. A specific case of a well-known manuscript with a potential ancestor is 892, which is known to have been copied from an uncial whose pagination and certain other traits we can reconstruct. So that lost uncial is a potential ancestor of 892 -- and, if it still existed, we could recognize it based not primarily on its text but on its physical traits.
A technique used in copying manuscript illustrations and illuminations. An original drawing was created, then a needle was used to punch holes in the drawing at various points. A copyist could then recreate the drawing's outlines by placing the pounced original over the space for the drawing, and poking another needle though the holes into the copy. This would give the copyist enough reference points to allow fairly exact copying of the original.
Primary Version
A "primary version" is a version translated directly from the original language. For the New Testament, the Latin, Syriac, Coptic, and Gothic are generally conceded to be primary versions. This is in contrast to a secondary version, which is translated from a primary version, or even a tertiary version, which is translated from a secondary version. (So, for example, the Coptic versions of the Old Testament appear to be translated from the LXX. Thus LXX is a primary version of the OT, while the Coptic versions are secondary.)
Note: One will occasionally see the usage "primary version" applied to the versions of greatest significance for TC. (Under this definition, the Latin is still a primary version, but the Gothic becomes secondary.) Such usage is to be discouraged as it can cause confusion.
Purple Uncials
Although many manuscripts are called "purple" as a result of their parchment being dyed red or purple, the "purple uncials" is a shorthand name for a group of four uncials, all written of purple parchment in or around the sixth century, which display a common sort of text. The four purple uncials are N, O, Σ, and Φ. Their text is mostly Byzantine but with some distinct readings which have been variously classified (e.g. Streeter considered them "Cæsarean" while in Von Soden's classification they are listed as as IΠ). j of the Old Latin
It should be stressed that these four are not the only purple manuscripts in existence. 565 is not an uncial, but it is probably the most famous (and most important) purple manuscript. There are a handful of manuscripts with some purple pages (it is not unusual to see prefatory matter or Eusebian tables on purple pages -- convenient, because they can then be moved from one codex to another!), plus there are purple manuscripts of the versions -- the Old Latins a, b, e, f and j of the gospels, among others. There are also the Vulgate codices em, per, reg, theod, plus the Gothic Codex Argenteus. There is also a purple Greek psalter in Zurich, and Latin psalters in Paris and the Bodleian, and at least two Latin lectionaries.
In later years, purple parchment was sometimes used for important civil documents such as imperial charters -- logical, in a way, since they would be easy to find and impressive once found. (To be sure, the "purple" involved was often more magenta than imperial purple; shellfish produced the imperial purple, but another dye derived from shellfish, whelk red, was often used instead; we often find "purple" manuscripts in which the pages vary dramatically in color).
Interestingly, there are also partly purple pages. Tamara Voronova and Andrei Sterligov, Western European Illuminated Manuscripts, 8th to 16th centuries, Sirrocco, 2006, p. 31, shows photos of a Latin manuscript (no proper catalog number given, unfortunately) in which patches have been stained purple and written upon. It is quite impressive, visually, but must have been tricky to execute. There are also instances of manuscripts with some purple and some un-coloured pages; there is no agreed-upon explanation for this, except in cases where the purple material was reserved for particularly important material (say, the first page of a gospel).
Many of the purple manuscripts are in a rather poor state of repair; gold ink was often hard on parchment -- observe the state of the manuscript at right (Codex j of the Old Latin; colours exaggerated).
It seems certain that Christians did not invent the purple manuscript, though it's not certain exactly who did. But Christopher de Hamel, A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, Phaedon, 1997, p. 48, says that Suetonius mentions a poem by Nero written in letters of gold (the reference seems to be to The Twelve Caesars, Nero, section 10, and the reference to me appears to refer to gold-plated inscriptions, not a manuscript, but I am not certain of that); de Hamel also reports a purple Homer in the possession of the Emperor Maximinus (died 238). The first mention of Christian purple manuscripts seems to come from Jerome, who condemns them in his preface to the Book of Job (although one wonders how much of this was due to their expense and how much due to one of the first mentions of a purple manuscript being in the possession of a very pagan emperor).
Not all Christians felt this way. According to Heinrich Fichtenau's The Carolingian Empire (p. 51 in the English translation by Peter Munz), in Charlemagne's time, great stress was laid on the importance of Jesus in the trinity -- so much so that it approached an informal monophysitism. In this context, according to Godeschalc who wrote at least one purple manuscript in this period, "the golden letters signified the splendour of heaven and of eternal life."
There is at least one instance of a manuscript which takes the whole business a step farther: Instead of dying the pages purple, whole pages might by gilded. Thin as the gold was, this must have been immensely expensive, and few instances survive, but there is at least one case where these gilt pages seem to have been used for the Eusebian tables. One wonders who was the intended recipient of that Bible!
We do find a handful of manuscripts written with gold ink on un-stained parchment, although this seems to be rare. (The combination was not particularly easy to read, and the gold ink doubtless cost more than the purple dye, so if a patron was paying for the gold, it made sense to go for the purple, too.) There seem to be no instances of silver lettering on plain parchment; silver simply didn't show up against such a light background.
It has been suggested that the very features that make purple manuscripts so beautiful and elaborate also makes them more subject to error. I have seen no data on this, but it strikes me as quite likely.
Although purple dye seems to have been the most widely used color for parchment, it is not the only one; verdigris was sometimes used to make green parchment. Leonardo da Vinci is said to have used vermillion writing materials, and Albrecht Dürer used dark blue-green. If any of these colors was used for a Bible manuscript, though, I don't know of it.
Quantitative Method
The "Quantitative Method" is the system for determining Text-Types first outlined by E. C. Colwell and Ernest W. Tune in "Method in Establishing Quantitative Relationships Between Text-Types of New Testament Manuscripts." This is the famous Colwell "Seventy Percent Rule" (that members of a text-type should agree in 70% of readings and have a 10% gap from witnesses of other types) often found in genealogical studies. It should be noted, however, that 1) The "Quantitative Method" is not a method but a definition, 2) that the definition was provisional and has not been proved, 3) that the definition has been mis-applied in most studies which use it, and 4) the definition gives every evidence of being incomplete, if not wrong, as it does not deal with mixed manuscripts. Thus the term "quantitative method" should be retired. For further discussion, see the section on the Colwell Definition in the article on Text-Types.
Sometimes abbreviated 4o. A term from printing, in which a large printed sheet was folded twice times (as opposed to once for a folio or three times for an octavo) to form four leaves or eight pages. Thus quartos were usually smaller than folios but bigger than octavos. It is perhaps the most common format for books.
Also known as a "gathering." A collection of sheets folded over to form a portion of a codex. (A scroll, for obvious reasons, did not contain quires.) Quires can be found in modern hardcover books, which are sewn together to form volumes.
Volumes fall into two basic types: Single-quire codices and multi-quire codices. Multi-quire codices have the quires set next to each other, with the last page of one quire adjacent to the first page of the next, with relatively small numbers of sheets per quire (usually four sheets, or sixteen pages, though other numbers are known; the late Paris Vulgates, which were often written on extremely thin vellum, often used up to eighteen sheets per quire, to give the quires strength, and quires in these Bibles seem to have been assembled with the number of sheets needed to give each quire in the volume a uniform thickness). Quires were normally arranged so that sheets of similar type face each other (for papyri, e.g., vertical strips facing vertical strips and horizontals facing horizontals; for uncials, flesh side facing flesh and hair facing hair). Multiple-quire codices were easier to assemble (since one didn't need to guess how many leaves one would need), and generally more attractive, but required binding, meaning that at least some codices (such as 𝔓46 and 𝔓75) were single-quire codices: One huge gathering of dozens of sheets folded over. This has its conveniences for critics: We don't have the outermost leaves of either 𝔓46 or 𝔓75, but we know the overall length of both manuscripts, because we can locate the center leaf and calculate from there. (This is possible even if we have only a single sheet of a single-quire codex, as long as page numbers can be found on both sides.) And knowing the overall length, we can at least estimate the extent of the contents (it is by this means, e.g., that we calculate that 𝔓46 can never have contained the Pastoral Epistles). Of course this is also possible with multi-quire codices, but only in the special case where we have quires before and after the lacuna. If a multi-quire codex simply ends (as is the case, e.g., with B), there is no way to estimate how many leaves are missing.
Another problem with single-quire codices is how big they are. A single quire, since each additional leaf makes it thicker and more unwieldy, can only contain so many leaves -- a few dozen at most. So to assemble a full Bible, or even a complete set of the Four Gospels or the Acts and Epistles, requires a multiple-quire codex.
Most fragments, of course, consist of only a single sheet (not even a complete leaf; it's quite common for the page to break at the fold, and only one half of the broken leaf to survive), making it impossible to tell whether they come from single-quire or multiple-quire codices.
Single-quire codices have another complication: To prepare a single-quire codex, one has to estimate how many sheets the book will take. This does not have to be done at the beginning; one can keep adding leaves at the center of the quire until one reaches the half way point. But once a scribe is half way through, the number of sheets is fixed and cannot be changed. So if the scribe miscalculated the halfway point of the text, the quire will not be the right length; either the quire is too short, and more leaves will have to be added (which means blank leaves at the beginning!), or the quire is too long and there are blank leaves at the end. If the latter is the case, we might see new material added at the end. This may have been what happened with the Freer Minor Prophets codex (W), e.g. -- there were blank pages after Malachi, so the scribe very possibly added another, unknown, work to fill the blank space.
For more on the significance of quires, see the entry on codices.
Radiating Texts
Used for texts where there are splits in the genealogy, so that not all manuscripts are ancestors or descendents of the others. This is by contrast to sequential texts, such as the Shakespeare Folios: The Fourth Folio was reprinted from the Third Folio, which was reprinted from the Second Folio, which was reprinted from the First Folio. (Some other materials were added along the way, but for the most part the Second, Third and Fourth Folios were direct descendents of the First Folio, with corruptions.) The manuscripts of the New Testament are of course radiating texts.
Received Text
In textual criticism in general, Received Text refers to the widely accepted text of an author or work -- often, although not always, the first edition printed. In New Testament criticism, the term Received Text refers specifically to one or another edition of the Textus Receptus.
A technical term with different uses in New Testament and Classical textual criticism. In New Testament criticism, "recension" is often used to mean something like "text-type" -- a group of related manuscripts, which may have arisen by natural means. So one might refer to the "Byzantine recension."
In classical criticism, the term is much more precise: it refers to two texts of the same work which are distinct as a result of editorial work. For instance, we have two different texts of Euclid's Elements, one edited by Theon ("Theon's Recension," found in the large majority of surviving manuscripts) and one believed to be closer to the original. Similarly, it is now believed that the two texts of Shakespeare's King Lear (Quarto and Folio) represent two distinct stage settings of the same play, and as such we find editions such as the Pelican Shakespeare actually printing both texts in parallel columns (and then a conflated version).
The differences between these two usages is somewhat unfortunate, since it is now generally agreed that the Byzantine text of the New Testament is not recensional in the proper sense (i.e. it was not edited, by Lucian or anyone else). But there are edited texts of the New Testament -- Marcion's, obviously, and also, in a way, the Diatessaron; in addition, the D text of Luke-Acts has unquestionably been edited at some points (e.g. the use of Matthew's genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3). Thus when one encounters the word "recension" in New Testament situations, one must always be careful to learn the precise sense in which the word is being used by a particular author.
In printing, the recto is the right-hand page of a pair (hence the name), as opposed to the verso. With reference to leaves in a quire, in modern usage, the recto refers to the outer leaf. In a papyrus codex, this would normally be the side with the plant strips running vertically.
Relativism/textual relativism
A term more common in medieval textual criticism, referring to the sort of text one reconstructs. According to Nicolas Jacobs, "What may be called strong relativism consists in the view that there is no good reason, at least with a medieval work, to privilege the authorial over the scribal text, such distinctions being anachronistic." In other words, instead of seeking, say, the original of Chaucer's Adam Scriveyn, we don't try to figure out what Chaucer wrote; we just publish the two witnesses, Cambridge, Trinity College MS. R.3.20 and Stowe's 1561 printed edition, the only critical effort being devoted to the correction of any obvious errors in the printed text. "Weak relativism" shows some interest in these secondary products but is most interested in the original. Obviously most New Testament critics are very weak relativists, although one does see occasional interest in the precise texts of particular copies (most notably Codex Bezae). However, textual relativism is definitely becoming more common, as people become more interested in the texts that result from mis-copying.
The real danger here, it seems to me, lies in assuming that the values of all these different texts are the same. The original is the original, and we always want that -- if for no other reason than to see what drove the changes! Critics who lose sight of that seem to me to have lost the whole point of textual criticism. But there is also a value, of a different sort, in the revised texts, in helping us understand local cultures and various sects and the like. The trick is to use each text in its proper context.
revisor fatigue
A phenomenon in which a corrector, in going over a manuscript or translation, is much more diligent in the early portion of the work than in the final sections. We see this, for instance, in L of the Gospels, where the Byzantine revisor of L's archetype was quite thorough in correcting the first half of Matthew toward the majority text but did relatively little in the rest of the Gospels. 579 seems to have been revised in the same way, and perhaps 1241 as well. Corrector ℵb also worked almost entirely in Matthew. Jerome, in revising the Old Latin to produce the Vulgate New Testament, did most of his revision work in the Gospels, and made his most nitpicky corrections in Matthew. It is very rare to see a corrector grow more diligent as a book progresses (although we sometimes see a corrector grow fatigued, perk up, grow fatigued again, and so on -- this seems to have happened in the ancestry of 𝔓46, for instance. Presumably the manuscript involved was corrected over several days, and the scribe grew more fatigued as each day progressed).
As used in manuscript illumination, a term for concentric circles or ovals, often in colors. So a typical roundel would look something like this:
or perhaps or .
In the center might be placed a short message. For example, we encounter in some Latin manuscripts a "Paternoster table." This takes the seven petitions of the Latin version of the Lord's Prayer and turns them into a grid with glosses and cross-references with the Fruits of the Spirit and the like. All of this is in Latin, so in vernacular manuscripts such as the Vernon Manuscript, we find interspersed with the table roundels with short English glosses. Some of those in the Vernon Manuscript, for instance, refer to "Drede of god," "loue & charite," and "Sinne" (Dread of God, love and charity, Sin).
If a manuscript contains roundels, they may often be part of a square grid. The space between the roundel and the grid may be known as a spandrel, after the term used in architecture for the space above a rounded arch or the like. So far as I know, spandrels have no significance for characterizing text.
The use of roundels was important for drawing attention to particular points. Research has apparently shown that the eye is drawn more to round shapes than to rectilinear shapes, and while the ancients didn't have the scientific results, they seem to have known this informally and taken advantage of it.
Rubric, Rubrication
From Latin rubrica, red, hence something written in red. Formally, anything written in red ink would be a rubric, but the use of the ink was normally reserved for comments, glosses, or the incipits or explicits of books. So a rubric is generally something written that is not part of the main text but which identifies its parts or explains their use. A secondary use of rubrics was for decoration -- adding red dots or lines to letters. Often this was done to the initial letter of a line of poetry or a paragraph of prose; this would often be done alongside elaborate capitals. So one might see something like this:
 ow do I love thee?
 Let me count the ways.
"Rubrication" is simply the process of adding rubrics.
Scripts and Script Names
We have a tendency to divide scripts, particularly Greek and Latin scripts, into just two styles: uncial and minuscule. This is terribly oversimplified; Σ and Ϲ are both "uncial" forms of the letter sigma, but if you know only the script that includes Ϲ, you assuredly aren't going to recognize Σ as the same letter. Even Ε and ϵ might give you trouble. And as for the various forms of minuscule letters, all I can say is, Good luck.
There were many different styles of writing developed over the years, although it seems as if this happened more deliberately with the Latin than the Greek alphabet, as styles such as the Caroline minuscule were developed. But you really need to consult a book on paleography, especially to distinguish Latin styles such as uncial, half-uncial, rustic, and Caroline minuscule.
A small scriptorium, or a private study. A place where a copyist could work with greater silence and privacy than an ordinary scriptorium. In general, one suspects, authors and other creative workers would be allowed scriptoriola, while those who merely copied texts would work in the regular scriptorium.
The facility (normally in a monastery) in which manuscripts were copied.
Our descriptions of scriptorium differ -- and we have only a few visual representations. Some rooms used for copying manuscripts survive, but it is a curiosity that there seem to be no surviving drawings of a scriptorium in use. We have many, many images of individual scribes copying a text, and it is often clear that the scribe was a monk -- but that scribe is working in isolation; there are no other monks around, and the image rarely shows much more than the monk and his immediate surroundings; if there is any background at all, it is often a bookshelf. So we have little insight into what a scriptorium was really like when it was active.
It is likely that their nature changed over time -- depending, among other things, on whether manuscripts were copied individually or in bulk.
If the former, then the scriptorium was kept entirely silent; David Diringer (The Book Before Writing, p. 207ff.) reports that the scribes even evolved a series of hand gestures by which to communicate the volumes or materials they needed so that they could do their work without speaking. (Douglas C. McMurtrie, The Book: The Story of Printing & Bookmaking, p. 78, notes a fascinating example: The symbol for a pagan author was to scratch behind the ear, as a dog scratches. Not every symbol was so insulting, to be sure: To request a copy of a psalter, one mimed putting on or wearing a crown, since the psalter was considered to be the work of King David.)
The policy was to make the scriptorium a large, open room with good natural light; artificial light was banned to prevent fires (McMurtrie, p. 77). The scriptorium was managed by the armarius, who supplied the tools required by the scribes: desks, pens, ink, parchment or papyrus, and the other tools used by the scribe: knife, awl (to prick the parchment for lining), stylus (to score the lines), ruler, pumice (to smooth the parchment), perhaps weights (to flatten pages) and sponges (to erase, though this was sometimes done with the knife). A scribe was typically expected to work about six hours a day -- which, if you've ever tried to copy a text exactly, is a long time!
None of this, of course, was possible when a manuscript was copied by dictation. There is little evidence of the procedure for this (there is an illustration in Morgan Library M.240, folio 8, but it just shows a lector reading and a scribe copying, with no real details), but that manuscripts were copied by dication can hardly be denied; there are simply too many errors of hearing in certain manuscripts. Wayment, for instance, strongly argues that I of Paul was copied by dictation. (We should add, however, that some errors which appear to be errors of hearing may not be: Recall that most ancients read by sounding out the words before them. Thus they could sound out a word, turn to copy it, and mis-copy it because they mis-heard what they themselves had read!) But it is not at all unlikely that copying by dictation died with the Roman Empire in the west, and perhaps fell into decay in the east also; demand for manuscripts would have fallen both with the adoption of parchment (which lasted longer and reduced the need for replacement manuscripts) and with the decline of literacy. In these circumstances, individual copying of manuscripts would suffice, and copying by dictation might well have been eliminated.
No matter which method of copying was used, a manuscript generally was not finished once the text was copied. First it would be corrected. Then rubrics, illustrations, and illuminated letters would then be done by another scribe. How long this took, of course, depended on the level of effort devoted to these other tasks.
Illustrations don't really show us the layout of a scriptorium, but at least we know something about the furniture used by scribes. We often say that they sat at "desks," but this is deceptive. Most seem to have worked at tilted tables, like a drafting table -- a slab of wood, perhaps with a lip at the bottom, perhaps with a mounting that allows the scribe to adjust its angle. Some even have two or three separate surfaces, one to hold the original that is being copied, one to hold the copy that is being created, and one to hold ink and other writing materials. Most scribes are shown seated, although there is reason to think that some wrote standing up.
Plural "sigla." A symbol used for a manuscript, to save spelling out the full name of the manuscript. This is particularly important in a critical apparatus, where a large amount of information has to be expressed in a very short space. So the Codex Sinaiticus becomes ℵ in the editions of Tischendorf and Nestle-Aland, although it's S in Bover and Merk (as well as in the Rahlfs edition of LXX) and δ2 in Von Soden (all, obviously, shorter than "Siniaticus"!). A siglum can of course have multiple meanings; A is the Codex Alexandrinus in New Testament editions, but the Amiatinus in Vulgate editions, and in Munro and Allen's edition of the Iliad, it's Codex Venetus 454. 𝔓46 in a Bible edition refers to the Chester Beatty manuscript of Paul, but in Homer, it's Papyrus Berolinensis 9949.
Although sigla in the New Testament are pretty much arbitrary, in other contexts and editions they may have some meaning. For instance, the symbols for the editions of "Hamlet" are Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, F1, F2, etc. Q1, Q2, etc. are quartos, with Q1 being the oldest (a "bad" quarto reconstructed from memory), Q2 the next (a good quarto), and all later quartos being copies of their predecessors (that is, Q3 was printed from Q2, Q4 from Q3, etc.). F1, F2, etc. are folios, and again, F2 was copied from F1, F3 from F2, etc. So the only independent witnesses are Q1 (bad), Q2 (good), and F1 (status disputed, but it has at least some independent authority).
In the case of Shakespeare, the sigla designate the format and likely date. In other instances, the sigla indicate libraries or owners or a short form of the catalog number. In Chaucer, for instance, "El" is the Ellesmere manuscript, named after Lord Ellesmere although it is now in the Huntington library; "Gg" is Cambridge university library GG.iv.27; "Hg" is Hengwrt 154; Ra1 is in the Bodleian, Rawlinson poet. 141. Note that many Bible editions use a similar system, of two or three letters, for Vulgate manuscripts.
A siglum can also refer to a group of manuscripts -- e.g. in Rahlfs, the symbol L refers to the Lucianic manuscripts 19 93 108 etc. 𝔐 is used in the newer Nestle-Aland editions for the Majority Text; ℌ was used in the older editions for the Alexandrian text (although neither of these two groups was well-defined).
Simple Type/Variant
A term created by Greg to contrast with "complex" variants. A run of text is simple if it either has no variants (other than singular variants) or if a variant is binary -- two and only two readings. Greg classifies these according to the number of different readings: A Type 1 reading is one where there is no (non-singular) variant; a Type 2 reading is one where there are two and only two variants. These are the simple types of variants. A reading of Type 3 or higher is a complex variant. So, e.g. the variant between Ασα and Ασαφ in Matthew 1:7 is a Type 2/simple variant (because there are only two readings). But in Matthew 8:28 we have four readings: Γαδαρηνων/Γερασηνων/Γεργσηνων/Γαζαρηνων. The last of these is singular (it's supported only by ℵ*), so there are three non-singular readings. That makes this a Type 3/complex reading.
A term from codicology, referring to a single leaf found in a manuscript that is not bound into a quire with other leaves. Singletons sometimes exist for relatively innocent reasons, e.g. because a scribe miscalculated the amount of writing material he would need -- but they also may be a signal that a manuscript has been deliberately modified. (For an example of this, see the item on Supplements below.) Thus it is worth a student's while to examine a manuscript for singletons and other irregular quires and try to find out the reason for their existence.
Singular Reading
A "singular reading" is a reading found in only one manuscript in the tradition. (The term is sometimes applied to readings found in only one major manuscript, with support from some minor manuscripts, but this is properly called a "subsingular reading.") Since most singular readings are the result of scribal idiosyncracies, scholars generally do not adopt them (or even use them for genetic analysis) unless the internal evidence is overwhelming or the tradition shows very many variant readings at this point.
Sort (in printing)
Daniel Berkeley Updike gives this definition: "A 'sort,' understood in connection with printing, is one of the pieces in a font of type considered in reference to a supply or lack. To be 'out of sorts' is to lack some of the necessary types in a case." Or, alternately, it can mean to have wrong type in a particular case. For example, the case below shows a set of the letter s, with one S out of sorts:

This may sound trivial to a textual critic, but it can be useful in dating printed documents. For example, as a font of type ages, individual pieces of type would be lost or damaged, making it more and more out of sorts. As a result, the printer might have to start using letters from other fonts to fill out the out-of-sorts face. Thus if you have three undated books from a printer, and one is never out of sorts, one is occasionally out of sorts, and the third is constantly out of sorts, assuming all use the same amount of type per page, it is a good bet that the one that is never out of sorts is the oldest and the one that is constantly out of sorts is the most recent.
Stemmatic Reading
A rare term, often not used very precisely. Properly it should be used only in an edition based on a stemma for a particular part of the stemma (e.g. the reading of the α branch of the stemma would be the stemmatic reading of α). In practice, however, it seems to be used simply for anything that occurs in a manuscript and is not the lemma. Since the Nestle-Aland edition does not use lemmata, the term is irrelevant to that edition, but if we take (for instance) Bover's edition, the first variant for which manuscripts are cited is Matthew 1:6:
6 δε2 THWSLM: p1 BS co. sy. kg1. 700 f1 f13 arm. 566 Γ ] + ο βασιλευς V: rel
Thus, the addition of ο βασιλευς (found in the edition of Vogels and all cited witnesses except those cited after the lemma) is the stemmatic reading.
An element of the text of a particular manuscript which is of textual significance. These readings are generally considered to be of genetic importance. This is by contrast to readings which have little significance to the meaning of the passage, and which are not considered to be of genetic significance; readings of this sort are known as "accidentals."
It's well-known that relatively few old manuscripts are complete. We are accustomed to pointing out that only Sinaiticus among the uncials contains the complete New Testament, and that the papyri are all fragmentary. This is a little deceptive; most of those uncials never contained the complete New Testament. But if we look at the first 250 uncials by number, and attempt to count how many still contain their original contents in their entirety, it's still a small percentage.
Many of these defects are modern, but many are old, as well. Today, if a book is damaged, we will likely just go out and buy another copy. When manuscripts were copied by hand and expensive, this was not a reasonable option. Far easier to copy off enough pages to fill the gap, and re-insert that into the binding. This is very common among the early uncials. B was supplemented by the minuscule 1957. But this is an unusual supplement, coming much later and in another style of writing. Usually we see supplements in the same sort of script. So Dea, for instance, has supplements in Matt. 3:7-16, Mark 16:15-20, John 18:14-20:13. If a critical apparatus notices this (not all do), the supplement will be marked with the superscript s or supp. Hence in John 19, for instance, the Nestle-Aland apparatus does not cite D but Ds. Other important manuscripts with supplements include Dp (in 1 Corinthians), W (in John), 565 (various places), 892 (in John), and 1241 (portions of Paul and the Catholics).
There are instances where it appears the supplement may have been copied from the original manuscript, in whole or in part (this could happen, e.g., if a portion of a page had been damaged by damp or torn). Usually, however, another exemplar had to be consulted. This can result in a change in text-type. Usually this will mean a shift toward the Byzantine text (892supp, for instance, is noticeably more Byzantine than 892 proper). But not always! In Paul, 1241's basic run of text is purely Byzantine, while the supplements are an Alexandrian/Byzantine mix.
Most supplements appear to be a response to accidental damage. But this is not always the case. Codex Vercellensis (a) of the Old Latin appears to have been deliberately supplemented: The ending of Mark is missing, cut away, and a portion restored. C. H. Turner calculated that the missing leaves could not have contained the "longer ending" 16:9-20. Thus the logical conclusion is that a was deliberately mutilated and a supplement added to supply this ending.
Syntax Marks
A system used, e.g., in elementary Latin texts to guide users of vernacular languages in understanding peculiarities of Latin grammar. We still see such things in interlinear translations. The old Scrivener interlinear of the second clause of Matthew 1:2, for instance, runs
Ἰακὼβ δὲἐγέννησεντὸνἸούδανκαὶτοὺςἀδελφοὺςαὐτοῦ
and JacobbegatJudasand2brethren1his

The superscript numbers before "brethren" and "his" are syntax marks, to tell the person reading the gloss that it should be read as "and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren" rather than "and Jacob begat Judas and brethren his."
Early manuscripts could hardly use Arabic numerals, but they could use syntax marks to connect items that were separated by intervening words. Daniel Huws, Medieval Welsh Manuscripts, on p. 117 shows an example from a fragment of Bede's De Natura Rerum (in National Library of Wales MS. Peniarth 540)
 • • ⸫ ⸫ ⸫ • • • • adu' ⸪
This contains several blocks distinguished by syntax marks. The colon below cum probably marks the end of a block, although the beginning is missing. The several words starting with spiritus that are marked ⸫ form a block that ends with Et, where the mark ⸫ is below the word, not above. There is also a block marked by ⸪ (note that this isn't the same as ⸫) and one by • •.
Different languages and scripts will use different syntax marks. For instance, the Peniarth manuscript uses •   • •   ︰   ⸫   ⸪   •/•   /•   .˘   ..˘   ). But one would not wish to use ) in a Greek manuscript lest it be confused with a breathing mark.
Note that syntax marks were usually compiled separately from manuscripts, and might have a different history -- which might be considered as one tries to classify manuscripts.
It should also be kept in mind that a set of syntax marks are particular to both the source and the target language -- e.g. in the Greek example above, we had the syntax marks
because Greek is not very sensitive to word order and English is -- so the English needs a clue that the Greek words are not in their English order.
Terminal, Terminal Text, Terminal Reading
In simplest terms, something that has no descendants -- i.e. something at the end of a stemma. So, for example, we know that the stemma of the "Western"text of Paul looks like this:
    |                    |
    *                    *
    |                    |
 F/G Type              D Type
    |                    |
   [X]                   D
    |                    |
---------            ----------
|       |            |        |
F       G          Dabs1    Dabs2

So F, G, Dabs1, and Dabs2 are terminal manuscripts. D, which has descendants, is not. A terminal reading will be the reading of a terminal manuscript, or a reading which, in a local stemma of how readings arose, did not suffer further changes.
As the name implies, a combination of "four forms." In the Trier Gospels at Echternach, and perhaps a few other manuscripts, there is an illustration of the four evangelists and their symbols all combined into one composite figure. It has been suggested that the purpose of the image is to reinforce the unity of the four gospels. Given the rarity of the image, it probably has little textual or historical significance.
A copy of a work which is made by someone other than the author. Thus every surviving Greek New Testament manuscript, and most if not all copies of the versions, is a transcript.
Tree of Jesse
A standard type of manuscript illumination, based on Isaiah 11:1 and often found there, but also found in the New Testament. In it, Jesse typically lies on the ground, with a tree growing out of his body (yes, it is a nasty image sometimes!) and the Virgin Mary standing in the tree (sometimes she seems to be part of it, not just standing in it); Jesus is above her, often surrounded by doves, and roundels hanging from the tree like large fruits, containing other Biblical images. It has been suggested that the Tree might be used as a method of tracing manuscript genealogy, although I do not know if this has ever been done in practice.
E. A. Hutton's Triple Readings
In 1911, Edward Ardron Hutton published An Atlas of Textual Criticism, which was a catalog of the affinities of early manuscripts and an attempt to make it easy to classify manuscripts. Hutton's technique for doing this was to sift through the New Testament looking for places where the Alexandrian, Byzantine, and "Western" texts were all distinct, and to record the reading of each. Armed with this data, a student could quickly locate a new manuscript's affiliations. He gives a list of these readings in the Appendix following page 66. For example, the first triple reading in Matthew is at 2:9:
Alexandrian reading:εσταθη επανω ου ην το παιδιονא B C 1 33 205 1582
Western reading:εσταθη επανω το παιδιουD
Byzantine reading:εστη επανω ου ην το παιδιονE K L W Γ Δ Π 13 28 565 579 700 892
It never ceases to amaze me that so few people see the utter failure of this approach. What if a new manuscript comes along -- say a very Alexandrian papyrus along the lines of 𝔓75 -- which affects the classification? If a 𝔓75-type text agreed with D here, would we still say the reading of D was "Western" and that of B "Alexandrian"?
This method is absolutely dependent on already knowing which text-types are which. But if we already know that, then why do we need to classify new manuscripts? We already know what is Alexandrian, Byzantine, Western; like Balaam, we no longer need to look for information, we can just declare what God said.
Which brings us to the other problem, than of unknown text-types. Observe that, if the "Cæsarean" type exists, some of its witnesses (1 205 1582) go with the Alexandrian text, others (13 28 565 700) with the Byzantine. So how, based on this system, do you find a "Cæsarean" reading? The fact that the "Cæsarean" text is in dispute is no answer. Are you going to go to quadruple readings? How many of those are there? And what if there are five text-types? Do we go to quintuple readings?
Profiles are a workable, if not quite perfect, way of classifying manuscripts. But profiles based solely on places where the text-types diverge can only work if you already know everything there is to know about the tradition. Manuscript classification is based on agreements at all points, not just clear-cut fracture points.
Hutton's goal was noble. The execution left a lot to be desired. It will perhaps give you some idea of the muddle-headedness of his "genealogical" thinking to observe that, on page 5, he tells us that "The groups [i.e. the text-types Alexandrian, Byzantine, 'Western'] are as distinct as the white from the negro, the lesser groups are perhaps as distinct as a Frenchman from ourselves [the British]." For the record: "negros" (that is, presumably, the residents of Africa) have been shown by DNA studies to retain almost the entire genetic variation of the human species (as opposed to Europeans, who have only a small subset). Some Africans are about as closely related to Europeans as Europeans are to each other; some are not. Hutton's notions of manuscript kinship frankly suffer from the same analytical flaws as his racial notions, which were based on no actual data at all.
Apart from the we-already-know-the-answer problem, there is another problem in the Catholic Epistles and Apocalypse in particular. Take the first Triple Reading listed for 1 John 4:2:
Alexandrian reading:γινωσκετεc A B C L Ψc 5 6 33 330 424c 614 623 945 1739 1852 1881 hark
Western reading:γινωσκομενℵ* 206 630 876 1611 1799 2138 copticV
Byzantine reading:γινωσκεταιK Ψ* 049 69 81 181 223 323 424* 442 483 642 1175 1241 1243 1448 1735 2412 Old Latin vg
So what, exactly, is the "Western" reading here? Hutton listed it as the reading of ℵ*, seemingly on the grounds that it isn't the Alexandrian reading. But the Old Latins, which would be "Western" if anything is, here agree with the Byzantine reading. Hutton's alleged "Western" reading is, to be sure, the reading of several members of Family 2138, which is often called "Western" (falsely) -- but even if Family 2138 were "Western," we find other members of the family supporting the other two readings. If this is a triple reading, then we have our text-types wrong. Again we find that Hutton's system only works if we already know the text-types. Which means they cannot tell us anything new.
Type 1, 2, 3, 4... variation
A system introduced by Greg into classical textual criticism that, in simplest terms, tells you how many different readings there are at a point of variation. If the text has no variant readings -- say, if it reads θεος in all manuscripts -- it is a Type 1 text. If there are two readings, say θεος and κυριος, it is a Type 2 text. If there are three readings, say θεος, κυριος, Ιησους, it is a Type 3 text. If there are four choices, θεος, κυριος, Ιησους, and Χριστος, it is a Type 4 text. And so forth. Greg calls Type 1 and Type 2 situations "simple" variants and situations of Type 3 or higher "complex" variants, because they require different treatment (simple variants requiring us to decide what is the better reading; complex variants requiring a local genealogy). As a classification scheme, however, I suspect calling readings by types is almost meaningless in a New Testament context -- while a passage of text might be a Type 1 or Type 2 passage if you look only at the major manuscripts , if you were to look at all the thousands of gospel manuscripts, you would likely find almost every passage of text has multiple readings and so qualifies, technically at least, as a complex variant.
Any edition which presents variant readings. Such an edition may have a critically edited text, but not necessarily. For instance, the Nestle-Aland edition is a critical variorum edition of the Greek text, but Scrivener once produced a variorum edition of the New Testament which did not have a critical text -- he printed the Textus Receptus along with the readings of the editions of Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and others of lesser importance. Similarly, there was once an English "Variorum Bible," which had a handy critical apparatus -- but used the King James edition text.
In printing, the verso is the left-hand page of a pair, as opposed to the recto. With reference to leaves in a quire, in modern usage, the verso refers to the inner leaf. In a papyrus codex, this would normally be the side with the plant strips running horizontally. Volvelle
You've probably seen a simple version of these: Two or more superimposed cardboard circles with some sort of rivet punched through the middle, allowing one circle to rotate atop the other, allowing a sort of quick reference. (See the sketch at right.) The format goes back to the Middle Ages, when they were used for texts on mathematics, navigation, and astronomy -- often attached to a page in the text, although they could be used as standalones. (The modern ones are usually stand-alones, because that's easier than putting one in a bound book. I've seen modern examples for weather and geology.) The medieval models were used for such things as calculating the date of Easter, astronomy (locations of sun and moon), and mapping. The earliest surviving examples have been linked with Ramón Llull in the thirteenth century, with the oldest surviving volvelle (with three disks) coming from the fourteenth century. Other volvelle had as many as six disks, sometimes off-center (again, as shown at right), although I'm not sure what the advantage of this was.
One problem with volvelle was that they were thick and distorted the construction of the books containing them. This could have been managed with special bindings (e.g. several sheets of paper/parchment with the central regions cut out), but I have not heard of this being done.
It has been suggested that volvelle have their own individual textual histories, although little research has been done in this area. (Anyone want a Ph.D. topic?) This is a particularly significant problem because volvelles were easily lost from manuscript and printed books -- there are far fewer copies of them than of the remaining portions of the books containing them. So their text needs a different set of reconstruction tools.
Whittaw, Whittawing, Whittawer, Whitleather
In general, to whittaw is to treat leather (typically with alum and salt) to make whitleather -- that is, leather that preserves the hide's natural color. (From whit/white+tawing, leatherworking.) A whittawer is one who makes whitleather, and hence, by extension, a leatherer or saddler. But in bookbinding, it refers specifically to binding, and more specifically to binding with white leather. This might then be dyed red or dyed or stained black (if you think about books known by their color, they are usually white, black, or red -- the White Book of Rhydderch, the Red Book of Hergest, the Black Book of Carmarthen).
Women as Scribes
Most scribes were men. Sad but true. Some people were so prejudiced that they would not even accept a manuscript written by a woman. But this was not absolutely universal. There were stories that Thecla, the female heroine of The Acts of Paul and Thecla, wrote her own story. There was suggestion somewhere that the scribe of Codex Alexandrinus was a woman (although this was probably just a way to say that the copying wasn't very reliable). More significantly, in Anglo-Saxon England, we find a report of women actually copying Scripture. According to Michelle P. Brown, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts, University of Toronto Press, 1991, p. 25, "In 735-7 the missionary, Boniface, wrote to Abbess Eadburh of Minster-in-Thanet, requesting that her community '...write for me in gold the epistles of my lord, St Peter the Apostle, to secure honour and reverence for the Holy Scriptures when they are preached before the eyes of the heathen... I send the gold for writing this."
Also, in 2018, archaeologists excavating the monastery of Dalheim in Lichtenau, Germany discovered the body of a woman, probably in her late forties or fifties, whose death -- based on radiocarbon dating -- could be dated probably to the eleventh or early twelfth century. And this woman died with flecks of lapis lazuli on her teeth, in a form that would almost certainly have come from paint, not a chunk of the stone. The evidence is clear: she was a manuscript illuminator -- and one who was allowed to work with the most expensive pigments. (Lapis lazuli was even more expensive than gold.) Maybe she didn't write manuscripts herself, but she certainly worked on them, and it is quite likely that she worked among those who copied them.
It's not a Biblical manuscript, but the colophon to Leiden University Library, BPL 2541 says it was written in 1484 in Sustern, where the scribe was in sanctuary because her convent had burned down. Thus the scribe was presumably a nun.
Word Divisions
It is well known that, in early manuscripts, word divisions were not marked; WORDSWERERUNTOGETHERLIKETHIS (i.e. "words were run together like this"). On the very rare occasions that a division was marked in an early uncial, it was usually marked with a dot, not a space. None of the early uncials has any regular system of word breaks -- although spaces are quite common in the numerous ninth century Byzantine uncials. The practice of dividing words began roughly in the seventh century, although it was far from consistent at that time.
Initially, so little attention was paid to word breaks that even a line break could occur in the middle of a word. But not, it appears, anywhere in the middle of a word. There were rules, although they seem strange to us: A break had to follow a vowel, or between the consonants of a double consonant, or following a liquid consonant in an instance of a liquid consonant followed by another consonant. If anyone knows the reason for this system, I have not seen it.
Latin manuscripts occasionally followed the Greek system of breaking words after a vowel, but by far the more normal method was to break a word at the end of a syllable -- the system we still tend to follow.
The hyphen as the mark for a continued word did not become common until the twelfth century.
Paragraph markings are known from an early date, but in early times usually consisted of a mark in the margin, such as a dash or >. There was initially no line break; the reader had to guess what place the symbol referred to. Later it became common to put some space (perhaps the width of three letters) between the last word of one paragraph and the first word of the next. In time, it became common to put a large or illuminated letter at the start of a paragraph -- although some manuscripts actually put the illuminated letter at the start of the line, not the first word of the new paragraph!
The lack of word division naturally implies a lack of punctuation. Various systems were tried over the years, mostly consisting of points, high, low, or middle. Commas and interrogative marks started to be seen around the end of the uncial era. Late manuscripts of course contain a fairly full punctuation, but in an early manuscript, an editor cannot assume anything -- any symbol might be used for any sort of meaning (comma, semicolon, period, paragraph), and it may or may not be used correctly, and it may or may not be used regularly.
zero variant
Keith Ralston tells me that this is a term used in Janzen's analysis of Jeremiah. It refers to a variant in the Hebrew tradition where the LXX shows no variant from the MT text. Compare this to Greg's Type 1, 2, 3, 4... variation.
Used in some critical apparatus (especially those for non-biblical editions) for "all the rest," or "all those not explicitly cited," making it equivalent to the Nestle rell.
Used in Souter's apparatus for the Majority Text, making it loosely equivalent to the 𝔐 of the Nestle-Aland text.